My review of Networked published

As I announced in an earlier post, I would write a proper review of Adrienne Russell‘s latest book Networked. A Contemporary History of News in Transition (Polity, 2011). Now, the review is published in the new issue of Danish journal MedieKultur. Journal of media and communication. The review is available here – but make sure to read the rest of this great issue as well; it has articles by, among others, Kirsten Frandsen and Anne Mette Thorhauge which seem particularly interesting.

If you’re in a hurry, here comes the closing remarks of the review:

“the book is not always successful in resisting the temptation of choosing those examples that fit the overall argument and leaving aside those that could instead have challenged it and pushed it further. I may be more conservatively inclined than the author, but it seems to me that she overestimates how ordinary people are currently helping journalism and simultaneously underestimates the continued importance of the institution.

That said, throughout the book Russell does make a strong argument for the potential advantages of having different publics participate in news-making. Even though Networked could have benefitted from a more rigorous definition of journalism and more nuances in its unfavorable judgment of the contemporary workings of the news industry, the book deserves to be recommended for its rich evidence of what the public can do (and often actually does) for journalism. As such, in spite of my complaints, this book is a good place for journalism students, researchers, and practitioners to turn if they wish to know how ordinary people with digital technology can change journalism and challenge a conservative news industry.” (pp. 146-149)