New Media, Old News: Journalism and Democracy in a Digital Age


Seminar, British Academy, 19 November

This page featured the draft versions of the chapters of the book by the New Media, Old News: Journalism and Democracy in a Digital Age. The book is the first major publication arising from the Leverhulme funded research project 'Spaces of the News', designed to investigate the nature of news production in a digital age.

The book was focus of discussion at the invite-only 'New Media: Old News' seminar held on 19 November and attended by key people from the field of journalism as well as academia. The highly lively debate has informed the final version of the book which will be published by Sage (due to come out in late 2009.

The seminar on 19 November attracted an impressive range of news professionals and academics and stimulated a wide ranging discussion. The debate was split largely between those who celebrate the potential of new media to increase the range of news and information available to all and increase user participation and those who point to the problems brought about by new media in an environment of increased competition, increased investment in technology and a decreasing investment in journalists. The discussion will inform the future research of the Centre. Two further books that will pick up on many of the issues discussed in the seminar are currently planned.

Coverage of the seminar:

Journalism is rubbish: new report

Three steps to rubbish journalism

Disagreement among Guardian journalists to influence new book on changing news standards


Edited by Natalie Fenton

Table of contents:

Introduction: Drowning or waving? New media, journalism and democracy (Natalie Fenton)

Chapter 1: Technology foretold (James Curran)

Chapter 2: The political economy of the ‘new’ news environment (Des Freedman)

Chapter 3: An ethical deficit? Accountability, norms, and the material conditions of contemporary journalism (Angela Phillips, Nick Couldry, Des Freedman)

Chapter 4: Culture shock: New media and organizational change in the BBC (Peter Lee-Wright)

Chapter 5: Old sources: New bottles (Angela Phillips)

Chapter 6: Liberal dreams and the internet: A case study (James Curran and Tamara Witschge)

Chapter 7: Politics, journalism and new media: Virtual iron cages in the new culture of capitalism (Aeron Davis)

Chapter 8: New online news sources and writer-gatherers (Nick Couldry)

Chapter 9: NGOs, new media and the mainstream news: News from everywhere (Natalie Fenton)

Chapter 10: A new news order? Online news content examined (Joanna Redden and Tamara Witschge)