Making news, making the economy: Technological changes and financial pressures in Brazil

Tomás Undurraga has just published the article ‘Making news, making the economy: Technological changes and financial pressures in Brazil’ in the journal Cultural Sociology. The article is open access so it can be downloaded from the journal’s page. The abstract reads as follow:

Media convergence and growing financial pressure on the journalistic field have triggered significant changes in newsmaking cultures across the world. This article examines the challenges of media convergence in the newsroom of Valor Econômico, the main economic newspaper in Brazil. In particular, it explores how the introduction in 2013 of Valor Pro, a real time news service oriented to the financial market, changed newsmaking practices at Valor Econômico. The introduction of Valor Pro meant that journalists from the whole newsroom had to report news simultaneously for three platforms: the real time service, the online website and the printed paper. This shift not only intensified journalists’ workloads and altered the manufacture of news, but also increased financial pressure on the paper’s agenda. I argue that this shift – from producing news for the public towards producing news for the market – cannot be explained solely with reference to traditional political economic factors such as ideological decisions at editorial level and the structural properties of the Brazilian media sphere. Instead, drawing on resources from cultural sociology and from science and technology studies, I provide a richer explanation that acknowledges the impact of technological innovation, the shifting nature of news values, and the agency of journalists themselves. This article elaborates on seven months of ethnographic fieldwork in Valor Econômico’s newsroom in São Paulo between 2013 and 2015 and contributes to the literature on cultural sociology, media studies and science and technology studies.

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