Rebuilding the News
Metropolitan Journalism in the Digital Age
Publication Year: 2013
Breaking down the walls of the traditional newsroom, Rebuilding the News traces the evolution of news reporting as it moves from print to online. As the business models of newspapers have collapsed, author C. W. Anderson chronicles how bloggers, citizen journalists, and social networks are implicated in the massive changes confronting journalism.
Through a combination of local newsroom fieldwork, social-network analysis, and online archival research, Rebuilding the News places the current shifts in news production in socio-historical context. Focusing on the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, Anderson presents a gripping case study of how these papers have struggled to adapt to emerging economic, social, and technological realities.
As he explores the organizational, networked culture of journalism, Anderson lays bare questions about the future of news-oriented media and its evolving relationship with “the public” in the digital age.
Published by: Temple University Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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Rebuilding the News is a bridge between two academic lifetimes: the fi rst as a doctoral student in communications at the Columbia University Gradu-ate School of Journalism, and the second as an assistant professor at the College of Staten Island (City University of New York). Consequently, during the writing of this book, I have accumulated a large number of debts.Th e project began under the guidance of the late Professor James Carey and continued under the equally wonderful guidance of Todd Gitlin and Michael ...
Timeline of Digital News: Developments in Philadelphia and Nationally
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...• Th e Philadelphia Evening Bulletin closes, part of a wave of consoli-dation in the news industry. Philadelphia now has two daily news-• Th e New York Times reports on threats to turn Philadelphia into a “one newspaper town” by closing the tabloid the Philadelphia Daily News. Various iterations of this threat are repeated, under diff erent ...
Introduction - Local Journalism on the Brink
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In August of 2000, a hoary political institution—the Republican National Con-vention, assembling in Philadelphia—confronted a new kind of media network. As the national Republican Party descended on the city in the summer of 2000, its delegates were met by hundreds of convention protesters carrying cell phones, videocameras, and old-fashioned pencils and paper notebooks, all calling them-...
Part I. How Local Journalism Went Online
1. Philadelphia’s Newspapers Go Online (1997–2008)
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In 1997, Jennifer Musser-Metz, a web producer at Philly.com, sat at her desk turning piles of raw interview tape into RealAudio fi les, preparing them for uploading to the World Wide Web. Th e interviews were by the Philadelphia Inquirer’s foreign correspondent Mark Bowden, and the subject was the Ameri-can military adventure in Somalia of 1993, one of the defi ning episodes of the early Clinton presidency. Bowden had not yet published the book that would bear the title Black Hawk Down, and the Ridley Scott fi lm was four years away. ...
2. Alternate Paths in the Transition to Online Journalism (2000–2008)
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Th e Philadelphia branch of the Independent Media Center (IMC) movement, a network of more than 150 participatory media projects around the world, opened its doors in 2000 to cover protests at the Republican National Conven-tion. One irony of the Philly IMC’s early journalistic success is that the organi-zation was originally conceived as a limited, “tactical” media intervention docu-...
Part II. Local Newswork in the Digital Age
3. A Day in the Life of Twenty-First-Century Journalism (July 16, 2008)
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On Wednesday, July 16, 2008, an early-morning news story broke inside the Philadelphia Inquirer newsroom. It was not a dramatic tale; nor did it shape city politics and culture for years or even days to come. Indeed, it some ways it was the kind of story that even journalists themselves shudder to admit they take seriously: it was a report of a car crash, a multiple-fatality accident on Roosevelt ...
4. How News Circulates Online: The Short, Happy News Life of the Francisville Four (June 2008)
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This chapter broadens Chapter 3’s ethnographic analysis of newswork, focusing on how a single news story—the wrongful arrest of four area home owners on trumped-up charges—diff used across the entire Philadel-phia news ecosystem. Chapter 3 looked at newswork practices from the vantage point of the traditional newsrooms; the events discussed in this chapter also occurred inside the editorial nerve centers where newsroom managers, bloggers, and reporters exercised their news judgment. However, the chapter also exam-...
Part III. Building News Networks
5. What We Have Here Is a Failure to Collaborate (2005–2009)
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At approximately 10:00 a.m. on an ordinary Monday at the offi ces of the Phila-delphia Daily News on 400 North Broad Street, a well-sourced columnist took a surprising phone call: Anne d’Harnoncourt, longtime director of the Philadel-phia Museum of Art and a leading member of the city’s cultural elite, had passed away suddenly the previous night. She was only sixty-four and seemed to be in ...
6. Dark Days and Green Shoots (2009–2011)
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As the fi rst decade of the twenty-fi rst century drew to a close, the Philadel-phia media ecosystem seemed to be perched a knife’s edge between rebirth and collapse. While earlier parts of this book alluded to the various pres-sures aff ecting the professional status and occupational stability of journalists and journalistic organizations, this chapter explicitly discusses exogenous fac-tors reshaping journalistic work: the encroachment of web metrics into formerly autonomous journalistic practices, the increasing precarity of newswork (as the ...
Conclusion - Reporting and the Public in the Digital Age
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In the dead of night on November 30, 2011, protesters affi liated with Occupy Philadelphia—the ideological grandchildren, perhaps, of the anti-globalization activists who stormed the Republican National Convention in 2000 with their protest banners and digital cameras—were evicted from Dilworth Plaza. Report-ers with the Philadelphia Daily News and Philadelphia Inquirer were on the scene, transmitting developments to Twitter’s live coverage platform Cover It Live. At the same time, the long-dormant Philly IMC had reawakened, providing ...
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Page Count: 236
Publication Year: 2013