Aporias of Digital Journalism
The internet poses, in certain ways, a problem for journalists: on the one hand, it is evidently a marvellous tool for investigative work, for the rapid dissemination of information, and for creating new news platforms with new constituencies; on the other hand, these constituencies, habituated to the real time coordinates of internet communication, are impatient with the old rhythms of the news cycle, and impatient with forms of journalistic authority that were formed in the era of one-way mass medias. The very status of the journalist as reporter or opinion maker has been put into question as the bar to entry for creating a mass media audience has lowered dramatically – which was first noticed when bloggers of all types rose to prominence. This article presents an account of journalism that relates thematically to the idea that the future of journalism lies primarily in the journalist as editor, moderator and curator. We suggest, however, that these accounts need a twist in order to incorporate the critical ethos of journalism. Journalists should not be thought of merely as those who edit, moderate and curate already ongoing dialogues. Journalists should also help to show the blank spots of ongoing dialogues, in order to make the silent voices heard. Journalists should facilitate an awareness of which voices are not heard in the ongoing dialogues. To show this, we articulate a Derridean deconstruction of the situation of journalists, hereby showing that the founding aporias of journalism (the aporia of giving and denying voices) have been replaced by an aporia of giving and denying room for dialogue.