The Entrepreneurial Journalist

Authored by: Tamara Witschge , Frank Harbers

The Routledge Handbook of Developments in Digital Journalism Studies

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138283053
eBook ISBN: 9781315270449
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315270449-6

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Abstract

While journalism has for a long while been understood as a practice thoroughly embedded in classic institutional structures, exemplified by the newsroom, we are currently witnessing a significant shift in journalism education, critique, and practice in which the future of journalism is envisaged to (also) lie in journalistic start-ups (see: Deuze and Witschge, 2017). In this chapter we investigate the ways that journalistic innovators discuss their work, especially how they position themselves in the field and vis-à-vis their ‘institutional’ counterparts. To gain insight into the self-understanding of entrepreneurial journalists and how they differentiate their work from traditional news outlets, we examine the discourses and practices of recent start-ups: Mediapart (France), De Correspondent (the Netherlands), and Krautreporter (Germany). These three outlets each argue they break with traditional ways of doing journalism. They are all online-only players that emphasize the importance of a digital platform and have strong discourses concerning what is ‘good’ journalism. These three start-ups feature prominently in ongoing debates about journalism in the digital age, and they are financially successful or at least sustainable. As such, they are highly informative in exploring the practice and understanding of emerging forms of journalism.

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