Perceiving professional threats: Journalism’s discursive reaction to the rise of new media entities | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2001-0818
  • E-ISSN:



Researching what Silvio Waisbord (2013) calls the ambiguities of the profession of journalism requires confronting changes and challenges to journalism, addressing the self-proclaimed assertions of those who see themselves as journalists, and doing so with an eye to changing landscapes. To understand journalism’s professional identity in a digital era requires an equally agile approach, one that assesses professional adherence and identifies ways these aspects of identity translate and transpire in traditional understandings and forms, and how they relate to digitally native forms of mediated communication. Steeped in reflexive approaches born out of critical enquiry, this article advocates textual analysis and a discourse analysis methodology for analysing this identity, and posits that evaluating discourses of professional identity in texts serves as a gauge of journalism’s ‘threat perception’ towards new entities in the digital era. Pairing this approach with an engaged discussion of concepts of journalism allows for a broader understanding of how journalism’s professional identity is performed. First, this method better utilizes the way identity serves as a point around which tenets of ‘being’ journalism can be explored and, second, it engenders a more nuanced understanding of perceived threats to journalism’s primacy in the digital era. For educators, exploring how ‘different answers to journalistic problems are emerging in the online environment’ (Singer 2005: 180), reflexive analysis assuages disputes over journalism’s ambiguous professionalism, and moves towards a view of digital possibilities that discounts threats, and advances understandings towards a more reflexive space that better addresses the nexus between traditional concepts of journalism and new media opportunities.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): blogs; hacktivism; professional identity; WikiLeaks
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