New Objects, New Boundaries. How the “Journalism of Things” Reconfigures Collaborative Arrangements, Audience Relations and Knowledge-Based Empowerment
ISSN der Zeitschrift
Journalism of Things (JoT) is a new paradigm in digital journalism where journalists co-create sensor technologies with citizens, scientists, and designers generating new kinds of data-based and community-driven insights to provide a novel perspective on matters of common concern. This study locates Journalism of Things in existing theory and elaborates on innovation practices with the analytical lenses of boundary work and objects of journalism. Three case studies on recent award-winning journalism projects in Germany include interviews, media content analyses, and observations. The findings suggest four typical phases in JoT projects: formation, data work, presentation, and ramification. Blurred boundaries of journalism towards science and activism become apparent when co-creative JoT teams apply scientific methods and technology design while mobilizing communities. The article discusses how things (or objects) of JoT have implications on the configuration for collaborative arrangements and audience relations. By creating and disseminating new local knowledge on matters of common concern, JoT is contributing to empowering both journalism and citizens.