Why is serious professional journalism disappearing

Journalism in the network public

Journalism on the Internet pp 11-80 | Cite as

On the relationship between profession, participation and technology
  • Christoph Neuberger
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  • 8.1kDownloads


The research synopsis sums up the diverse network of relationships between professional journalism and participatory and algorithmic providers and applications on the Internet. Journalism is currently not facing serious competition in the news production sector, either from the activities of amateurs or from the automation of public communications. Far more important are the complementary and integrative relationships that editorial offices maintain with sources and audiences, especially with the help of social media. In addition, however, journalism becomes dependent on intermediaries such as Facebook and Google (e.g. when winning users), who have also become overwhelming competition in the advertising market. In addition to the economic crisis of professional journalism, which is evident, an identity crisis ("delimitation") and quality crisis ("lying press") are diagnosed. Journalism must rise to the challenge by redefining its role in the network public and innovatively exploiting the technical potential of the Internet. The change is also a challenge for journalism research. In order to cope with them, a theory of the dynamic and integrated network public is proposed here, which emphasizes relations, roles and contexts.


Profession Participation Technology Algorithms Intermediate Competition Complementarity Integration Cross-media Delimitation Crisis “Lies Press” Innovation Network Public Network Journalism Multichannel

This essay follows on from the basic text in the first edition of this anthology (Neuberger 2009). Sections 1 to 3 are based on an expertise for the Federal Media Commission (EMEK) (Neuberger 2017b), which has been expanded and updated. Earlier work on individual aspects of the topic will also be continued (especially Neuberger 2014a, c, 2017c; Neuberger and Nuernbergk 2015). I would like to thank Juliane Lischka, Anna-Theresa Mayer and Christian Nuernbergk for helpful comments on improving the text, as well as Liselotte Drescher for helping me get the literature!

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