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Improvisation and Entrepreneurial Journalism: Reimagining Innovation

Authors
  • Willemsen, Sofie1
  • Witschge, Tamara1, 2
  • Sauer, Sabrina1
  • 1 University of Groningen, The Netherlands
  • 2 Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journalism Studies
Publisher
Routledge
Publication Date
Sep 14, 2021
Volume
22
Issue
11
Pages
1487–1503
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/1461670X.2021.1951618
PMID: 34557055
PMCID: PMC8452143
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Articles
License
Unknown

Abstract

With the rise of innovation and entrepreneurship as avenues for journalists to take in their search for journalistic work, we need to critically interrogate how these terms are understood. Various journalism institutions are pushing a particular understanding of journalism, and of what constitutes meaningful and innovative journalism. In this paper, we review the literature on these themes and draw on experimental research done by one of the authors to argue for a more process-oriented approach to journalistic innovation and entrepreneurship. As a researcher-maker, one of the authors created an innovative journalistic project and tried to develop a business model for this project. She participated in an accelerator process organised by one of the main funds aimed at journalism innovation in the Netherlands. We show that one existing, and prevalent, understanding of innovation in journalism is one that is linear, rational and outcome-oriented. We challenge this understanding and draw on process-oriented theories of innovation to introduce the concepts of effectuation, improvisation and becoming as new lenses to reconsider these phenomena. These concepts provide clearer insight into the passionate and improvisational nature of doing innovative journalistic work.

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