Politics, Civil Society and Participation: Media and Communications in a Transforming Environment

Title chapter: Conceptualizing metropolitan journalism: New approaches, new communicative practices, new perspectives?
Author: Leif Kramp
Keywords: metropolitan journalism, metropolis, conceptualization, urban media environment, transformation of journalism, cross-media, mediatization, digitization, communicative figurations
Abstract: The chapter introduces a socio-geographical concept of metropolitan journalism, taking into account political, economic and cultural factors. It discusses empirical examples from journalism practice in Germany to identify certain patterns of structure-building, news production, news mediation and audience engagement. In so doing, it uses a figurational approach as a heuristic, depicting current transformations of journalism in metropolitan setting. The chapter argues for a differentiation between metropolitan journalism and local journalism. Due to the lack of an elaborated concept for metropolitan journalism in journalism theory, the following considerations draw on general characteristics of metropolitan areas that comprise geographical, administrative, political, economic and socio-demographic factors. On this basis, using the example of the situation of recent developments on Germany’s news market, the chapter discusses how metropolitan journalism develop a capability to shape the overall orientation of journalism practice towards innovation and experimentation with new technologies, forms of expression, organisation models, and product development. It is thereby argued that metropolitan journalism functions as an interdisciplinary test field with signal effect for the news industry, and becomes in its broad variety and diversity a nucleus of a figurational transformation of journalism in general.
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