Henrik Örnebring and Michael KarlssonMay 3, 2023
The Genealogy of a Concept
University of Missouri Press 2022
Journalists around the world agree that autonomy is central to their work, but what exactly is it journalists should be autonomous from, and for what should they use this autonomy? Henrik Örnebring and Michael Karlsson discuss their book Journalistic Autonomy: The Genealogy of a Concept (University of Missouri Press, 2022), which traces the genealogy of the idea of journalistic autonomy from the press freedom debates of the 17th century up to the digital, networked world of the 21st century.
In a conversation with Joanne Kuai, the authors talk about what is ‘autonomy’ and what it means in the context of journalism, and the journey of exploring the concept, using a theoretical framework that draws upon Friedrich Nietzsche, feminist philosophy, theoretical biology, and other disciplines. They reflect on whether the concept could be applied not only in liberal democracies but also in totalitarian regimes, and also discuss their ideals of journalism as an institution and what conditions are needed to facilitate that.
Henrik Örnebring is Professor of Media and Communication in the Department of Geography, Media, and Communication at Karlstad University, Sweden. Dr. Örnebring has published widely on journalism, media history, and new media in anthologies and scholarly journals and his most recent book is Newsworkers: Comparing Journalists in Six European Countries. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies.
Michael Karlsson is Professor of Media and Communication in the Department of Geography, Media and Communication at Karlstad University, Sweden. He has primarily published on issues pertaining to the digitalization of journalism. He is also the author of Transparency and Journalism: A Critical Appraisal of a Disruptive Norm. His is co-editor of Rethinking Research Methods in an Age of Digital Journalism. He is a Senior Editor of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies.
Joanne Kuai is a PhD Candidate at Karlstad University, Sweden, with a research project on Artificial Intelligence in Chinese Newsrooms. Her research interests centre around data and AI for media, computational journalism, and the social implications of automation and algorithms. Find her on LinkedIn or Twitter @JoanneKuai.