Article published in Digital Journalism: Actors, Actants, Audiences, and Activities in Cross-Media News Work – A matrix and a research agenda

I am happy to announce that the journal article “Actors, Actants, Audiences, and Activities in Cross-Media News Work – A matrix and a research agenda” has been published online in Digital Journalism. It is a co-authored conceptual article with Seth C. Lewis, for a forthcoming special issue focusing theories of journalism. This article lays presents a socio-technical emphasis to the study of the full range of agents involved in shaping contemporary journalism. It brings together diverse scholarship in a way that should help further understanding how social actors in news media act, and also their relationships to audiences and technological actants. It has been truly rewarding and efficient to work with Seth, he is a great scholar, and I am glad this article marks the start of a series of forthcoming publications together!

DJ   ScreenHunter_522 Jul. 18 07.31


In contemporary journalism, there is a need for better conceptualizing the changing nature of
human actors, nonhuman technological actants, and diverse representations of audiences—
and the activities of news production, distribution, and interpretation through which actors,
actants, and audiences are inter-related. This article explicates each of these elements—the
Four A’s—in the context of cross-media news work, a perspective that lends equal emphasis
to editorial, business, and technology as key sites for studying the organizational influences
shaping journalism. We argue for developing a sociotechnical emphasis for the study of institutional
news production: a holistic framework through which to make sense of and conduct
research about the full range of actors, actants, and audiences engaged in cross-media news
work activities. This emphasis addresses two shortcomings in the journalism studies literature:
a relative neglect about (1) the interplay of humans and technology, or manual and computational
modes of orientation and operation, and (2) the interplay of editorial, business, and
technology in news organizations. This article’s ultimate contribution is a cross-media news
work matrix that illustrates the interconnections among the Four A’s and reveals where opportunities
remain for empirical study.

Access the PRE-PRINT