Advocate, Copycatting or Simply Pragmatic: Reconceptualising Contemporary 'Marginal' Journalism(s)
Journalism(s) at the margins have often been perceived to focus exclusively on public service obligations.
The motivation for this lies in the inability and/or unwillingness of mainstream public service and commercial
media to provide a range of civic programming that caters to the needs and interests of diverse groups
in society. This research, however, shows that evolving socio-political and socio-economic circumstances
have had a considerable impact on contemporary marginal journalism(s). Whilst a commitment to publicservice
goals remains perceptible, this article makes two key arguments. First, the changing conditions
in which journalists at the margins operate increasingly compel them to embrace mechanised journalistic
routines associated with mainstream media, thereby compromising their public-service function. Second
and following on from the first point, marginal journalism(s) have devised innovative media strategies to
cope with the evolving circumstances in a manner reminiscent of the concept of the “third sector”. This
evidence – based on data gathered through ethnographic research at three selected case study organisations
- provides us with an enhanced understanding of current trends in this field. The article highlights
these developments and in doing so, makes a contribution to the development of a conceptual framework
of contemporary marginal journalism(s).
Anheier, H. (2002). The third sector in Europe: Five theses. Civil society working paper series, 12. Retrieved from http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/29051/1/CSWP12.pdf.
Atton, C. (2002). Alternative media. London: SAGE.
Atton, C. (2003a). Organisation and production in alternative media. In S. Cottle (Ed.), Media organization and production (pp. 41 – 55). London: SAGE.
Atton, C. (2003b). What is ‘alternative’ journalism? Journalism, 4(3), 267 – 272.
Atton, C. (2007). Current issues in alternative media research. Sociology Compass, 1(1), 17 – 27.
Atton, C., & Wickenden, E. (2005). Sourcing routines and representation in alternative journalism: A case study approach. Journalism Studies, 6(3), 347 – 359.
Atton, C., & Hamilton, J. (2008). Alternative journalism. London: SAGE.
Bailey, O. G., Cammaerts, B., & Carpentier, N. (2008). Understanding alternative media. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Berkowitz, D., & TerKeurst, J. V. (1999). Community as interpretive community: Rethinking the journalist-source relationship. Journal of Communication, 49(3), 125 – 136.
Blumler, J., & Gurevitch, M. (1995). The crisis of public communication. London: Routledge.
Comedia (1984). The alternative press: The development of underdevelopment. Media Culture & Society, 6(2), 95 – 102.
Croteau, D., & Hoynes, W. (2001). The business of media: Corporate media and the public interest. Thousand Oaks, California: Pine Forge.
Curran, J. (2002). Media and power. London: Routledge.
Curran, J., & Seaton, J. (2010). Power without responsibility: The press, broadcasting and the internet in Britain (7th ed.). London: Routledge.
Dahlgren, P. (1995). Television and the public sphere: Citizenship, democracy and the media. London: SAGE.
Deuze, M. (2005). What is journalism? Professional identity and ideology of journalists reconsidered. Journalism, 6(4), 442 – 464.
Donohue, G. A., Olien, C. N., & Tichenor, P. J. (1997). Structure and constraints on community newspaper gatekeepers. In: D. Berkowitz (Ed.), Social meanings of news: A text-reader (pp. 95 – 104). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.
Downing, J. (2010). NANOMEDIA: “Community” media, “network” media, “social movement” media: Why do they matter? And what’s in a name? Retrieved from http://www.portalcomunicacion.com/catunesco/download/2010_Downing_Nanomedia_english.pdf
Downing, J., Villareal-Ford, T., Gil, G., & Stein, L. (2001). Radical media: Rebellious communication and social movements. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE.
Downing, J., & Husband, C. (2005). Representing ‘race’: Racisms, ethnicities and media. London: SAGE.
Eley, G. (1992). Nations, publics, and political cultures: Placing Habermas in the nineteenth century. In C. Calhoun (Ed.), Habermas and the Public Sphere (pp. 289 – 339). Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
Eliasoph, N. (1997). Routines and the making of oppositional news. In D. Berkowitz (Ed.), Social meanings of news: A text reader (pp. 230 – 253). Thousand Oaks: SAGE.
Fishman, M. (1980). Manufacturing the news. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Fraser, N. (1992). Rethinking the public sphere: A contribution to the critique of actually existing democracy. In C. Calhoun (Ed.), Habermas and the public sphere (pp. 109 – 142). Massachusetts: MIT.
Fraser, C., & Estrada, S. R. (2001). Community radio handbook. Paris: UNESCO.
Gillespie, M. (2003). Trans-national communications and diaspora communities. In: V. Nightingale & K. Ross (Eds.), Critical readings: media and audiences (pp. 145 – 163). Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Gillmor, D. (2006). We the media: Grassroots journalism by the people, for the people. Sebastopol, California: O'Reilly.
Glaser, M. (2010). Citizen journalism: Widening world views, extending democracy. In S. Allan (Ed.), The routledge companion to news and journalism (pp. 578 – 590). Routledge: London.
Hackett, R. A. (1984) Decline of a paradigm? Bias and objectivity in news media studies. Critical Studies in Media Communication, 1(3), 229 – 259.
Harcup, T. (2005). I’m doing this to change the world: Journalism in alternative and mainstream media. Journalism Studies, 6(3), 361 – 374.
Hesmondhalgh, D. (2006). Media production. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Howley, K. (2009). Understanding community media. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.
Keeble, R. (1998). The newspaper handbook (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.
Lewis, J. (1990) Art, culture, and enterprise: The politics of art and the cultural industries. London: Routledge.
McMillian, J. (2011). Smoking typewriters: The sixties underground press and the rise of alternative media in America. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
McNair, B. (1998). The sociology of journalism. London: Arnold.
Molotch, H., & Lester, M. (1981). News as purposive behaviour: On the strategic use of routine events, accidents and scandals. In S. Cohen & J. Young (Eds.), The manufacture of news: Social problems, deviance and the mass media. (pp. 118 – 137). London: SAGE.
Murdoch, G., & Golding, P. (1977). Capitalism, communication and class relations. In: J. Curran et al. (Eds.), Mass communication and society (pp. 12 – 43). London: Edward Arnold.
Murdock, G., & Golding, P. (2005). Culture, communications and political economy. In J. Curran & M. Gurevitch (Eds.), Mass media and society (4th ed.). (pp. 60 – 83). London: Hodder Arnold.
Ornebring, H. (2008). The consumer as producer – of what? Journalism Studies, 9(5), 771 – 785.
Peters, C., & Broersma, M. (2013). Rethinking journalism: Trust and participation in a transformed news landscape. Abingdon: Routledge.
Schudson, M. (2001). The objectivity norm in American journalism. Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism, 2(2), 149 – 170.
Soloski, J. (1989). News reporting and professionalism: Some constraints on the reporting of the news. Media, Culture & Society, 11(2), 207 – 228.
Tuchman, G. (1978). Making news: A study in the construction of reality. New York: The Free Press.
Vickery, G., & Wunsch-Vincent, S. (2007). Participative web and user-created content: Web 2.0, wikis and social networking. Paris: OECD.
Wigglesworth, R., & Kendall, J. (2000). The impact of the third sector in the UK: The case of social housing. Civil Society Working Paper, 9. Retrieved from http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/29045/1/cswp9.pdf.
Witschge, T., Fenton, N., & Freedman, D. (2010). Protecting the news: Civil society and the media. Goldsmiths, University of London.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution BY 4.0 License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).