Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Strangers to the Game? Interlopers, Intralopers, and Shifting News Production

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Abstract:  The contours of journalistic practice have evolved substantially since the emergence of the world wide web to include those who were once strangers to the profession. Amateur journalists, bloggers, mobile app designers, programmers, web analytics managers, and others have become part of journalism, influencing the process of journalism from news production to distribution. These technology-oriented strangers—those who have not belonged to traditional journalism practice but have imported their qualities and work into it—are increasingly taking part in journalism, whether welcomed by journalists or shunned as interlopers. Yet, the labels that keep them at journalism’s periphery risk conflating them with much larger groups who are not always adding to the news process (e.g., bloggers, microbloggers) or generalizing them as insiders/outsiders. In this essay, we consider studies that have addressed the roles of journalistic strangers and argue that by delineating differences among these strangers and seeking representative categorizations of who they are, a more holistic understanding of their impact on news production, and journalism broadly, can be advanced. Considering the norms and practices of journalism as increasingly fluid and open to new actors, we offer categorizations of journalistic strangers as explicit and implicit interlopers as well as intralopers. In working to understand these strangers as innovators and disruptors of news production, we begin to unpack how they are collectively contributing to an increasingly un-institutionalized meaning of news while also suggesting a research agenda that gives definition to the various strangers who may be influencing news production and distribution and the organizational field of journalism more broadly.

Keywords:  digital news; innovation; interloper; intraloper; journalism; media; news production; strangers



© Avery E. Holton, Valerie Belair Gagnon. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.