Normative principles in newsroom innovation. The case of 360° video adoption by editorial knowledge champions
Technology innovation adoption is critical for the survival of news organizations in the digital age. However, it has been argued that innovations should not be adopted at any price in journalism. This explorative study investigates drivers and obstacles for innovation adoption of 360° videos in eight news organizations in Switzerland from the perspective of the knowledge champion in the editorial office. Based on interviews, we find that the question of what an innovation will change regarding resources, processes, and the alignment to professional norms is relevant at an early stage of innovation adoption. Potential monetary, audience, and company image benefits of an innovation become relevant for its proficient adoption. Knowledge champions carefully evaluate the new technology against normative journalistic principles and benefits for the organization. We argue that for understanding innovation adoption in newsrooms, the negotiation of professional norms has to be considered as this negotiation can drive or restrain innovation adoption. As journalists do not innovate at any costs but consider journalism’s societal purpose when assessing new technology, models of newsroom innovation adoption need to include the negotiation of normative principles.
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