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The Liquefaction of Publicness: Communication, Democracy and the Public Sphere in the Internet Age, Vol. 25 - 2018, No. 1

The Detached Observer: On a Necessary Change to the Self-Image of Journalists in the Digital World

, pages: 169-176

The difference between non-partisanship (in the sense of striving for independence) on the one hand and being uninvolved on the other is something which has up until now been seldom reflected upon during the everyday work of journalism. After the digital revolution’s huge expansion of opportunities for live reporting with impressive imagery, a being-involved has become altogether inevitable, since a great deal occurs in this context only so that it can be reported. Journalism has become a structural condition of the event which it is to report. The factual relationship of an unavoidable being-involved - the relevance of which has eminently increased in digital media society - is often misjudged. To cope with this situation, professional practice must face up to the inevitability of this being-involved; it must respond to the question of which expectations can, on the basis of this inevitability, be set for the self-image from which journalists allow their professional behaviour to be guided. What needs to be developed is a self-image of the journalist as an observer and reporter who is involved in the event; who within the event is committed to the work for publicness and who for this reason strives for non-partisanship and independence.

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