Journalism has an awkward relationship with innovation. On the one hand, as networked media keep disrupting business-as-usual, news organizations and journalism schools have been forced to celebrate and invest in innovation. And journalists on all beats increasingly report on innovation because of tectonic cultural, economic, and political shifts happening around the world. On the other hand, knowledge about how innovation works is perilously scattered and uneven across the field of journalism. Innovation tends to be viewed through a technology lens that unduly emphasizes newly commercialized news products and other digital breakthroughs. Often, innovation is just dismissed as jargon. This book aims to rescue innovation from misuse and leverage its power for solving problems. Drawing on ideas and techniques from a new source—social innovation—the books maps out a way forward for readers interested in changing and sustaining journalism. The social innovation solution isn’t about a single answer to journalism’s problems—that answer doesn’t exist. Instead, the social innovation solution is about tapping into our collective capacity for innovation. Having stood the test of time and academic scrutiny, social innovation is no fad or gimmick. The ideas and techniques presented in this book allow readers to try out social innovation for themselves—for reporting on innovation and social change, for innovating a newsroom or organization, or for reimagining the meaning and function of journalism in today’s networked world. The book will be a resource for media workers, educators, researchers, or students who have embraced the challenge of revitalizing journalism.
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Hans Peter Ibold is Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism at Indiana University.
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