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    Hunched over their laptops: phenomenological perspectives on citizen journalism

    Markham, Tim (2010) Hunched over their laptops: phenomenological perspectives on citizen journalism. In: Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association, 2010, London School of Economics, London, UK. (Unpublished)

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    Donald Matheson (2003) writes of war correspondents ‘scowling at their notebooks’, and this is not meant as caricature but the corporeal expression of an epistemological orientation to the world in which facts have to be wrestled into submission. This paper takes a phenomenological approach to ask whether there is a distinct orientation of citizen journalism and blogging, exploring the corporeal, temporal and spatial aspects of non-professional practices of media production. That production devices are worn by the body rather than the body being physically addressed to immovable pieces of equipment might be experienced as liberating, but this fluidity may also be connected to the increasing casualisation and precarity of media work. Likewise, the embedding and intertwining of media production and consumption in everyday life may provide the basis for more, not less, pervasive embodiment of anticipatory structures through routinisation. Hunching over a laptop suggests an epistemology in which facts and opinions are urgent and potentially subversive, though it isalso tied to the romanticised individualism with which citizen journalism in particular is associated. Practices of media production are not destructured but restructured by new technologies: there is no tweeting from nowhere, nor is a ‘third place’ such as a local café unsituated. The paper ends by arguing against the myth of the citizen journalist as urban warrior, and suggests that attention should instead be focussed on the domestic, commercial and suburban contexts which structure and are structured by practices of citizen journalism and blogging.


    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Research Centres and Institutes: Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Research in Media and Culture (BIRMAC) (Closed)
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2013 09:43
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:07


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