This panel aims to overcome the relative lack of focus on materiality, artifacts, and technology in mainstream scholarship news production by drawing on concepts central to Science and Technology Studies (STS).
In most classic scholarship about journalism and most of the classic research about how the news is made, what it consists of, how it circulates in society, and what effects it has on politics and culture, most likely you will find an account of words, the people who wrote or said them, and the organizations they belonged to and interacted with. Virtually ignored, in the mainstream research tradition, are the transformations in the material conditions of news production, distribution, and reception of information that have marked the past few centuries of journalistic production. This closed panel session, drawing on an edited book manuscript featuring some of the leading scholars in the field of journalism studies, attempts to overcome this relative lack of focus on materiality, artifacts, and technology in the realm of news production. In doing this, it aims to synthesize emerging research about the relationship between technology and news production, as well as push this research in new directions. Each of the papers in this panel discusses how the field of digital journalism studies relates to (a) traditional journalism scholarship in the pre-digital world (b) scholarship in other fields such as sociology, political communication, anthropology, cultural studies, and science and technology studies and perhaps most importantly and (c) what big ideas, findings, or concepts digital journalism research provides these external bodies of scholarship, rather than what it simply imports from them.