For the Bookshelf: Networked: A Contemporary History of News in Transition

Networked: A Contemporary History of News in Transition
By Adrienne Russell

Polity, 2011

The contemporary plugged-in era is the topic of Adrienne Russell’s new book, Networked: A Contemporary History of News in Transition (Polity 2011). The work analyzes the conditions contributing to the change in journalism and suggests potential future developments.

Unlike recent media scholarship that laments journalism’s demise, Networked challenges the idea that emergent news practices and products are bad for the public or for journalism.Networked is drawing the attention of scholars and working journalists. Writing forThe Guardian, Steven Poole described the book as a “useful corrective … to homogeneous rants or raves about such phenomena as ‘user-generated content.’” Tim Luckhursts’s review in the Times Higher Education called the book “a great piece of truly modern scholarship [that] reveals much about new types of news and new pathways to democratic engagement.”

Rodney Benson, an associate professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University, said that other books discuss how journalism is changing but that Networked is more comprehensive and theoretically sophisticated.

“Adrienne’s contribution is to bring together and organize a range of new-media best practices and then explain how and why they emerged,” he says. “As a result, her book is a valuable resource to help journalists, activists, intellectuals, and all citizens claim the full democratic potential of networked media.”

Nabil Echchaibi is an assistant professor of journalism and mass communication at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He calls the book timely and groundbreaking.

“Over the years, we’ve heard mostly somber accounts of how new media technologies will affect journalism,” he says. “This is an extremely welcome reflection on how networked journalism may arguably benefit the very essence of the civic culture good journalism ought to produce. Journalists will find this book refreshing, particularly if they’re willing to look at the emerging networked news landscape with less antagonism.”

To learn more about Russell or her book, visit her blog. DU’s Department of Media, Film and Journalism Studies is hosting Journalism in the Public Interest day Oct. 11 at the Cable Center. An author’s reception featuring Russell’s book will be held from 4–5 p.m. For more information, visit the event site.


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