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The Future of 24-Hour News

New Directions, New Challenges

Edited By Stephen Cushion and Richard Sambrook

Over the last 30 years 24-hour television news channels have reshaped the practice and culture of journalism. But the arrival of new content and social media platforms over recent years has challenged their power and authority, with fast-changing technologies accelerating the speed of news delivery and reshaping audience behaviour. Following on from The Rise of 24-Hour News Television: Global Perspectives (Cushion and Lewis, 2010), this volume explores new challenges and pressures facing television news channels, and considers the future of 24-hour news. Featuring a wide range of industry and academic perspectives, including the heads of some of the major international news channels (BBC Global News, Al Jazeera and Sky News, among others) as well as leading academics from around the world, contributors reflect on how well rolling television news is reinventing itself for digital platforms and the rapidly changing expectations of audiences. Overall, the 24 chapters in this volume deliver fresh insights into how 24-hour news channels have redefined rolling news journalism – or potentially could do – in order to remain relevant and effective in supplying continuous news for 21st-century audiences.
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Chapter 15: Journalism in the Age of the “Interface”


← 188 | 189 →CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Journalism in the Age of the “Interface”


Over the last decade our understanding of “24-hour news” has undergone a significant transformation. The term itself seems to have become obsolete at a time when all types of “news” continuously stream across multiple layers of increasingly dense—and personalized—digital networks. The tremendous transformation of journalism within such a digital scope requires new conceptual frameworks to not only critically identify new content formats, “social media” journalism and user practices, but also to assess roles of journalism within dense transnational multidirectional news topography.

Such a news topography is not only digital, but shapes in today’s advanced digital sphere an enlarged scope of diverse spatially globalized ecologies. Even the smallest local news outlets and individual journalistic comments reach—via websites, newsfeeds, blogs and social networks—users across world regions. To assess these enlarged horizontal ecologies, conceptual frameworks are needed which position journalism within these transnationally no longer just “connected,” but rather fine-lined “interdependent” spheres of political communication and public discourse. Yet, despite a current debate of digitalization of journalism in mainly Western world regions which, as Steenssen & Ahva (2015) argue, has now reached a “fourth” phase where debates go beyond traditional “institutions,” a focus on transnationalization of journalism remains a “blind spot.” Steenssen & Ahva argue that larger philosophical issues, such as ethics, ontology and epistemology (Steenssen & Ahva, 2015:15) need to be incorporated into conceptual...

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