Digital Expertise in Online Journalism (and Anthropology)
Abstract

This article explores the connection between digital media practices and digital (self-) understandings in western news journalism today. I describe how German and US online journalists translate their experiential familiarity with a plethora of digital information and communication technologies into narratives of digital expertise that contrast their "non-linear," "iterative," "interactive," and "network" modes of thinking from the journalistic expertise of traditional (broadcast) journalism. I view online news journalists' narratives of digital expertise as exemplary of the cybernetic and informatic epistemologies that developed in the wake of the industrialization of computation before the Second World War and that exerted a profound influence over the analytic methods and theories of the postwar human sciences as well. I thus compare digital thinking in news journalism and postwar anthropology in order to illuminate how technically-enabled practices of knowledge formation influence expert modes of understanding human social life.


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