Archive for October 18th, 2017

Progressive Geographies

59b383cef5ba740228e84989Stephen W. Sawyer & Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins (eds.), Foucault, Neoliberalism and Beyond – forthcoming in 2018 from Rowman & Littlefield International.

Few philosophers have garnered as much attention globally as Michel Foucault. But even within this wide reception, the consideration given to his relationship to neoliberalism has been noteworthy. However, the debate over this relationship has given rise to a great deal of polemics and confusion.

This volume brings together leading figures in the field to provide a reliable guide to one of the most controversial subjects in recent continental thought. It puts across the case for Foucault’s importance for post-colonial, race, queer and feminist studies, among other areas, and opens up his relationship to neoliberalism to offer a broader picture of tensions brewing within the Left more generally.

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Stevens, Jeremy and Fuller, Glen. Journalistic challenges of the public and private: Exploring professional and ethical norms [online]. Australian Journalism Review, Vol. 39, No. 1, Jul 2017: 113-125.

Authors’ note: This article develops the idea of ‘commentary as method’. ‘Commentary’ is derived from Foucault’s Discourse on Language and related texts and reworked into a method for engaging with ‘commentary’ texts assembled into large corpus of materials (i.e. via ‘big data’ methods).

Journalism has been described as a “profession in a permanent process of becoming” (Deuze and Witschge, 2017, p. 13). This paper investigates a decade of commentary (2006-2015) from news media industry “grey literature” that engages with the ongoing rearticulation of professional norms. We focus on the ethical challenges resulting from changes in part wrought by social media-based communications technologies. Our archive consists of 1156 articles published through US-based Poynter Institute, Nieman Lab and Nieman Reports. Using a “hybrid methodology” (Lewis, Zamith, and Hermida, 2013), we carried out a close reading discourse analysis of the commentary. Our initial goal was to understand the shift in the character of discourse from one organised around a single set of changes (“the digital”, “the internet”, and so on) to a more multi-dimensional appreciation of such changes. The character of critical commentary itself changes at various points in the archive to engage with problems that are now familiar. These include commentary about the verification of information and the “truth”, sourcing techniques, the blurring of public and private spheres and changing behaviours of publicity. Indeed, these ethical and professional challenges for journalists are not new for the most part. Our key finding is that there is a struggle to rearticulate “traditional” norms in order to adapt to the shifting dynamics of online networked media and their ethical and professional implications. In an era of ongoing change, this normative reflex demands further attention.

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