New publication: post-industrial cultural criticism

It has been a busy summer in terms of publications as two articles, which I have worked on for quite some time, have finally been published and I have spent a lot of time writing my Danish-language textbook on online journalism (due to serious sickness, however, the actual finishing of the book manuscript is again postponed).

So, earlier this summer, the prestigious journal Journalism Practice published my research article “Post-Industrial Cultural Criticism: The everyday amateur expert and the online cultural public sphere“.

Here is the abstract:

Integrating perspectives from research into cultural and post-industrial journalism, this article presents a pilot study of websites with reviews of arts and culture conducted by amateurs. Such websites constitute a popular space for cultural criticism, and one that challenges traditional hierarchies within journalism. The article maps which Danish websites conduct arts and culture reviews, asks what features these websites have that facilitate public discourse, and measures the actual discussion on the websites. While academic diagnoses of the state of the online public sphere have generally been discouraging, this article argues that this is partly due to a strong focus on politics rather than on culture and illustrates how the cultural public sphere of online reviews constitutes a heterogeneous space for a public discussion about arts and culture. Furthermore, it shows that some amateur reviewers have highly specialized knowledge of culture and, on that basis, argues that the emergence of this type of critic might represent a qualitative strengthening of cultural criticism.

The article is the first tangible result of a long-time collaboration I’ve had (and have) with colleagues from Denmark and abroad in the NOS-HS funded research network Cultural Journalism in the Nordic Countries. The work will continue in the collaborative research project “From Ivory Tower to Twitter: Rethinking the Cultural Critic in Contemporary Media Culture”, which is headed by Nete Nørgaard Kristensen and has just received 6.2 m DKK from the Danish Council for Independent Research.

The article is part of a special issue of Journalism Practice on Cultural Journalism and the Media Reporting of Culture, which is edited by Nete Nørgaard Kristensen and Unni From and will be published in hard copy in December, 2015.

My article draws heavily upon some of the thoughts presented in the report Post-Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present by C.W. Anderson, Emily Bell, and Clay Shirky (2013) – if you have not read it yet, I absolutely recommend it. (Their work, in turn, borrows from an old article on Doc Searls’ blog.)

Because of the publisher’s business model, access to the article requires subscription, but send me an email and I’ll send you an early version of the article.