Academic Articles / Publications

Balancing Product Reviews, Traffic Targets, and Industry Criticism: UK Technology Journalism in Practice

Authors: J Scott Brennen, Philip N Howard, Rasmus K Nielsen

Abstract

Despite growing expectations that technology journalists serve as critical watchdogs of the technology industry, technology journalism remains under-studied in journalism studies. Drawing on the hierarchy of influences model to analyze semi-structured interviews with UK technology journalists and editors, this article investigates how journalists strategically navigate relationships with the technology industry and how these relationships influence reporting practices. Providing a needed examination of day-to-day technology reporting practice, the article demonstrates how journalists manage a range of pressures, limitations, and challenges. In doing so, it shows that, in how it is defined and practiced, technology journalism remains interlaced with the technology industry in ways that may undercut growing calls for critical, rigorous, and independent technology reporting. Ultimately, this article makes the case for treating technology journalism as a distinct field of inquiry.

Brennen, J. Scott, Philip N. Howard, and Rasmus K. Nielsen. “Balancing Product Reviews, Traffic Targets, and Industry Criticism: UK Technology Journalism in Practice.” Journalism Practice (2020): 1-18.

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