Chapter, Peer reviewed
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Original versionWestlund, O. & Ekström, M. (2019). News organizations and routines In: K. Wahl-Jørgensen & T. Hanitzsch T (Ed.), Handbook of journalism studies (2nd.ed.)(pp73-89). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge
The first studies on news routines emerged in the 1950s, and since then a wealth of studies have followed that focus on routines among journalists in newsrooms. Clearly, however, much has happened in journalism since then; as a profession, with the news media industries, with digital developments and the tools, systems, and digital intermediaries that have emerged and become established. The news reporters in the 1950s were clearly embedded in a significantly different newsroom. They used quite different tools and systems to produce news, as compared to contemporary news reporters. At the same time, reporters both then and now engage in similar routines in their pursuit of information from a diverse set of reliable sources, and in turning this into something deemed credible enough to be published as news. Some routines persist, and certainly help journalists to cope with the pace of news work; yet new routines also emerge in digital and increasingly data-driven newsrooms. Digital journalism encompasses many different forms of news journalism, and discussions often focus on what is new rather than what remains essentially the same. Amid growth in perceptions about disinformation becoming more and more widespread in society, many have held that journalists and their professional and routinized practices play a key role. Shared routines are important for the collaboration and coordination of activities in the newsroom; for the way in which news journalists efficiently produce, frame, and publish their stories, approach sources, seek to verify information, and so forth. This chapter presents a literature review focusing on routines in news organizations, and makes two distinct contributions by discussing: (1) the organizational context and routines for coordination in news organizations, and (2) routines in relation to the concrete situated practices forming epistemological news production processes. We begin, however, by turning to existing concepts and definitions of routines.