Aggregation and the New News Order: A Practice Theory Approach

Dan Wang, Steve Zhongshi Guo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

This study examines the transforming power of aggregation in a traditional newsroom based on the practice theory approach. Through ethnographic observations of aggregated news production in action in a local legacy press, we were able to detect various symbolic and material sources of institutional change attributable to aggregation. Some of our findings confirmed the prescriptions of practice theory; some extended it; and some partially negated the existing model due largely to the lack of a goodness-of-fit between the Western theory and the unique Chinese media ecology. We found that a new news order has emerged at the expense of professional quality of journalism, causing massive depletions of resources traditionally reserved for news beats, background research, maintaining the network of news contacts, and depth investigation. As a concrete practice of the highly politicized campaign for media convergence in China, aggregation is re-defining news making, practitioner identity and the cultural authority of journalism. Theoretical implications of this research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalDigital Journalism
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Nov 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication

User-Defined Keywords

  • Aggregation
  • media convergence
  • news beat
  • news order
  • practice theory

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