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Three years into nonprofit ownership, The Philadelphia Inquirer is still trying to chart its future
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Aug. 31, 2009, 9 a.m.

An introduction to our newest blogger, C.W. Anderson

Since February 2005 — it is sort of stunning to think that this was more than four years ago — I’ve been intermittently blogging about the future of journalism, journalism and social movements, and media-related issues in general. And when I first started my scholarly investigations into how news practices were changing, in 2003, I said I studied “alternative media“; while many people had heard of blogs, they weren’t well integrated into the academic conversation about journalism’s future. No one, certainly, thought that the journalism industry was going to change as much as it has over the past four years.

So I’ve been thinking and writing about journalism for a long time, which makes it particularly exciting for me to join the Lab. For those of you not familiar with what I’ve been blogging about the past few years, you can read the back issues here. I expect that my posts here will be more or less the same as they’ve always been: long-ish, intermittent, but (hopefully) interesting enough to wait for and to read. I expect I’ll integrate a lot of my current research into my posts, which means I’ll be writing a lot about journalism education, journalists and geeks (how they get along and how they don’t), and the relationship between journalism and public policy.

One of my areas of specialization is the relationship between social theory and journalism, and I particularly hope that I can bring the best ideas of the “academy” — the interesting ideas, not the obscure and self-referential ones — to bear on the current crisis and uncertain future of journalism. Despite the fact that there’s been some great research on communications and the media in the past thirty to fifty years, many journalists tend to look askance at professors in the social sciences, and far too many professors tend to see journalism as a “practical trade,” unworthy of serious scholarly attention. My mentors — Todd Gitlin, Michael Schudson, Jay Rosen, and the late James Carey — have tried to argue otherwise. These four are my role models, and I’ll probably refer to their ideas a lot in my posts.

So in short, its great to be here. As Prof. Carey might have said, I hope I can add something to this ongoing conversation.

POSTED     Aug. 31, 2009, 9 a.m.
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