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Multi-Media Journalism

Stephen Hill | Monday July 13, 2009

Categories: Key Concepts, Other Topics

Fig 13: Like many print news and lifestyle titles, The Times is now a multi-platform brand

Journalism is steeped in the objective accountability of the press as the Fourth Estate: framing political issues and offering political advocacy. For example, in 1991 the European Court of Human Rights ruled against the British government’s use of a gagging order to restrain newspapers from reporting on former MI5 secret services officer Peter Wright’s memoirs Spycatcher (1987). Likewise, investigative journalists work hard on behalf of the electorate to expose government scandal.

For example, though chastised in the Hutton Report into the death of David Kelly, Andrew Gilligan’s revelations about the weapons inspector bought the deliberate misleading of the British public over Iraq’s nuclear capacity to the forefront of national attention.

That said, this paternalistic model is undermined by that of Roland Barthes. In his logic the meaning of news reporting is inscribed by the audience, which undermines the integrity of journalistic standards. And indeed, over the past thirty years the proliferation of New Journalism styles and consumer discourse have burred boundaries between the stylistic conventions of fiction and objective reportage. Moreover, the proliferation of lifestyle journalism has seen discrete routines of living become the focus of entire publications: from Angling Times to Living France, much professional journalism is orientated towards specific sub-cultural lifestyle groups.

That the identification of these niche markets are of course a means of targeting defined communities of consumers by advertisers is of course documented in the work of Anderson.

Indeed, with increased competition from the web-2.0 content in the shape of blogs, forums and message boards, traditional journalistic forms have had to become specialist products in their own right to justify the expense of purchasing a hard-copy of a magazine or...

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