Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

The Infrastructure of News: Negotiating Infrastructural Capture and Autonomy in Data-Driven News Distribution

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Abstract:  The platformisation of news has triggered public and scholarly concern regarding the impact of platforms on the news industry and, more importantly, platforms’ potential threat to ideals of autonomy and economic independence. Despite ongoing debate and the increasing investment in technologies for automated distribution and artificial intelligence, the material infrastructures of the news media sustaining this artificial intelligence-driven news distribution remain understudied. Approaching the infrastructural relationship as spaces of negotiation this article investigates how the news media is negotiating their own autonomy vis-à-vis infrastructure capture by platforms. The analysis is grounded in a mapping of technologies sustaining the production, distribution, and commercial viability of the media. This is further combined with ethnographic observations from two large Danish news organisations and 19 in-depth interviews with news organisations and digital intermediaries from Scandinavia, the US, and the UK. The research shows how infrastructure capture is manifested and negotiated through three overall logics in the infrastructure of news: logics of classification, standardisation, and datafication.

Keywords:  datafication; digital media infrastructures; infrastructure capture; media logics; platformisation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v11i2.6388


© Lisa Merete Kristensen, Jannie Møller Hartley. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.