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The politics of journalistic creativity: expressiveness, authenticity and de-authorization

Markham, Tim (2012) The politics of journalistic creativity: expressiveness, authenticity and de-authorization. Journalism Practice 6 (2), pp. 187-200. ISSN 1751-2786.

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This article begins with the assertion that creativity in journalism has moved from being a matter of guile and ingenuity to being about expressiveness, and that this reflects a broader cultural shift from professional expertise to the authenticity of personal expression as dominant modes of valorization. It then seeks to unpack the normative baggage that underpins the case for creativity in the cultural industries. First, there is a prioritization of agency, which does not stand up against the phenomenological argument that we do not own our own practices. Second, creative expression is not necessarily more free, simply alternately structured. As with Judith Butler’s performativity model, contemporary discourses of creativity assume it to have a unique quality by which it eludes determination (relying on tropes of fluidity), whereas it can be countered that it is in spontaneous, intuitive practice that we are at our least agencical. Third, the article argues against the idea that by authorizing journalists (and audiences) to express themselves, creativity is democratizing, since the always-already nature of recognition means that subjects can only voice their position within an established terrain rather than engage active positioning.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an electronic version of an article published in Journalism Practice 6(2), pp.187-200 The journal is available online at
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): creativity, creative industries, expressiveness, authenticity, authorization, media democratization
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Arts > Film, Media and Cultural Studies
Depositing User: Tim Markham
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2012 16:07
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2014 10:09

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