chapter  37
14 Pages

Theorizing Digital Journalism

The limits of linearity and the rise of relationships
WithJane B. Singer

This chapter begins with a closer look at why the value of concepts that were so fruitful in an analog past has diminished in digital present. It explores how journalism studies scholars are moving the field forward in the 2010s, and describes a call for new concepts around 'relationship effects'. As the study of 'journalism' increasingly encompasses the study of 'digital journalism', the constrictions imposed by a linear conception of the communication process are more and more discomfiting for theorists. Relationships between journalists and 'audiences' were included in the 1957 Westley-MacLean model, though given a subsidiary, dotted-line notation as feedback loops. Spiral of silence theory posits that the media have a significant effect on audience behavior. Despite the ubiquity of digital and mobile media use in Western society, few have even tried to apply cultivation theory directly to digital media other than video games.