Hope as a Portal to Change: Reimagining Journalism’s Value(s)


  • Amanda Daniëlle Brouwers Department of Media Studies and Journalism, University of Groningen
  • Tamara Witschge Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Digital Media and Creative Industries; Department of Media and Journalism Studies, University of Groningen http://orcid.org/0000-0002-7642-4868




Pressure, Hope, Entrepreneurial Journalism, Innovation, Autoethnography


In this article, we explore how normative understandings of what "proper journalism" is affects journalistic practices, particularly for those who are trying to develop new types of practices. Drawing on the autoethnography of one of the authors of this article, who is both an academic and an entrepreneurial journalist, we explore how explicit and implicit norms of journalism, and the central values they imply, impact individual experiences of doing journalism. We highlight the pressure that these dominant values and understandings can induce and explore an alternative value that can help guide innovation in journalism. We argue that putting the value of “hope” centrally in the discourse and practice of journalism can help change journalism for the better. By seeing how hope is a driver of change in entrepreneurial journalism - as its practitioners see what is possible, but not yet actual - we provide a new conceptualization of innovation in journalism. In redirecting our attention away from pressure, and toward hope, we also redirect our focus to what is possible in the field. By doing so we can tap into the huge potential for change journalism’s hopeful practitioners endeavor to realize.


Arends, S., & Van ’t Hof, E. (2020). De Nieuwe Journalist. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Briggs, M. (2012). Entrepreneurial Journalism: How to Build What’s Next for News. Los Angeles: Sage.

Brouwers, A. D. (2017). Failure and understanding-with in entrepreneurial journalism. Journal of Media Business Studies, 14(3), 217–233. https://doi.org/10.1080/16522354.2018.1445161

ìBrouwers, A. D., & Witschge, T. (2019). “It Never Stops”: The Implicit Norm of Working Long Hours in Entrepreneurial Journalism. In M. Deuze & M. Prenger (Eds.), Making Media: Production, Practices, and Professions (pp. 441–451). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Bruno, N., & Nielsen, R. K. (2012). Survival is Success: Journalistic Online Startups in Western Europe. Oxford: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Chia, R. (2017). A process-philosophical understanding of organizational learning as “wayfinding”: Process, practices and sensitivity to environmental affordances. The Learning Organization, 24(2), 107–118. https://doi.org/10.1108/TLO-11-2016-0083

Coddington, M. (2015). The Wall becomes a Curtain: Revisiting Journalism’s News-Business Boundary. In M. Carlson & S. C. Lewis (Eds.), Boundaries of Journalism: Professionalism and Participation (pp. 67–82). New York: Routledge.

Cohen, N. S. (2015). Entrepreneurial Journalism and the Precarious State of Media Work. The South Atlantic Quarterly, 114(3), 513–533. https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-3130723

Deuze, M. (2007). Media Work. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Deuze, M., & Witschge, T. (2018). What Journalism Becomes. In C. Peters & M. Broersma (Eds.), Rethinking Journalism Again: Societal Role and Public Relevance in a Digital Age (pp. 115–130). Oxon: Routledge.

Deuze, M., & Witschge, T. (2020). Beyond Journalism. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Dinnar, S., & Susskind, L. (2019). The Entrepreneurial World. In S. Dinnar & L. Susskind (Eds.), Entrepreneurial Negotiation (pp. 13–40). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-92543-1

Douwes, J. (2018). Zelfs een journalist is vatbaar voor stress. Retrieved November 27, 2019, from https://www.villamedia.nl/artikel/zelfs-een-journalist-is-vatbaar-voor-stress

Eldridge, S. (2018). Preface. Interlopers, journalism on the periphery. In S. Eldrigde, Online Journalism from the Periphery. Interloper Media and the Journalistic Field (pp. x–xii). New York: Routledge.

Ellis, C. (2014). The Ethnographic I: A Methodological Novel about Autoethnography. Lanham: Rowman Altamira.

Gitlin, T. (2011). A surfeit of crises: circulation, revenue, attention, authority, and deference. In R. W. McChesney & V. W. Pickard (Eds.), Will the Last Reporter Please Turn Out the Lights: The Collapse of Journalism and What Can Be Done to Fix It (pp. 91–102). New York: The New Press.

Görling, S., & Rehn, A. (2008). Accidental ventures. A materialist reading of opportunity and entrepreneurial potential. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 24(2), 94–102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scaman.2008.03.001

Hepp, A., & Loosen, W. (2019). Pioneer journalism: Conceptualizing the role of pioneer journalists and pioneer communities in the organizational re-figuration of journalism. Journalism, 000), 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464884919829277

Johannisson, B. (2011). Towards a practice theory of entrepreneuring. Small Business Economy, 36, 135–150. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-009-9212-8

Kelly, S. (2015). The Entrepreneurial Journalist’s Toolkit: Manage Your Media. New York: Routledge.

Kreiss, D., & Brennen, J. S. (2016). Normative Models of Digital Journalism. In T. Witschge, C. W. Anderson, D. Domingo, & A. Hermida (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Digital Journalism (pp. 299–314). London: SAGE Publications.

Leurdijk, A. (2015). Entrepreneurial Journalism. Zwolle: Windesheim.

Malik, A., & Shapiro, I. (2016). What’s digital? What’s journalism? In B. Franklin & S. Eldridge (Eds.) The Routledge Companion to Digital Journalism Studies (pp. 15–24). New York: Routledge.

Marsden, P. (2017). Entrepreneurial Journalism. London: Routledge.

Mattingly, C. (2010). The Paradox of Hope: Journeys Through a Clinical Borderland. Orlando: University of California Press.

Mattingly, C., & Jensen, U. J. (2015). What Can We Hope For? An Exploration in Cosmopolitan Philosophical Anthropology. In S. Liisberg, E. O. Pedersen, & A. L. Dalsgård (Eds.), Anthropology and Philosophy: Dialogues on Trust and Hope (pp. 24–56). New York: Berghahn.

Miyazaki, H. (2004). The Method of Hope: Anthropology, Philosophy, and Fijian Knowledge. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

O’Donnell, P., & Zion, L. (2019). Precarity in Media Work. In M. Deuze & M. Prenger (Eds.), Making Media: Production, Practices, and Professions (pp. 223–234). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

Pedersen, E. O., & Liisberg, S. (2015). Introduction. Trust and Hope. In S. Liisberg, E. O. Pedersen, & A. L. Dalsgård (Eds.), Anthropology and Philosophy: Dialogues on Trust and Hope (pp. 1–20). New York: Berghahn.

Polanyi, M. (1966). The Tacit Dimension. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Rafter, K. (2016). Introduction. Journalism Practice, 10(2), 140–142. https://doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2015.1126014

Rasmussen, A. M. (2015). Self, Hope, and the Unconditional: Kierkegaard on Faith and Hope. In S. Lissberg, E. O. Pedersen, & L. Dalsgård (Eds.), Anthropology and Philosophy: Dialogues on Trust and Hope. New York: Berghahn.

Reinardy, S. (2006). It’s Gametime: The Maslach Burnout Inventory Measures Burnout of Sports Journalists. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 83(2), 397–412. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F107769900608300211

Reinardy, S. (2011). Newspaper journalism in crisis: Burnout on the rise, eroding young journalists’ career commitment. Journalism, 12(1), 33–50. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1464884910385188

Ruotsalainen, J., Hujanen, J., & Villi, M. (2019). A future of journalism beyond the objectivity-dialogue divide? Hybridity in the news of entrepreneurial journalists. Journalism, 0(00), 1–19.

Schatzki, T. R. (2001). Introduction: Practice research. In T. R. Schatzki, K. Knorr Cetina, & E. Von Savigny (Eds.), The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory (pp. 10–23). London: Routledge.

Shepherd, D., Williams, T., Wolfe, M., & Patzelt, H. (2016). Learning from Entrepreneurial Failure: Emotions, Cognitions and Actions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Singer, J. B. (2015). Out of Bounds: Professional norms as boundary makers. In M. Carlson & S. C. Lewis (Eds.), Boundaries of Journalism: Professionalism, Practices and Participation (pp. 21–36). London: Routledge.

Singer, J. B. (2018). Entrepreneurial Journalism. In T. P. Vos (Ed.), Journalism (pp. 355–372). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Singer, J. B., & Broersma, M. (2019). Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Journalism Students’ Interpretive Repertoires for a Changing Occupation. Journalism Practice, 14(3), 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2019.1602478

Sørensen, B. M. (2008). “Behold, I am making all things new”: The entrepreneur as savior in the age of creativity. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 24(2), 85–93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scaman.2008.03.002

Steyaert, C., & Landström, H. (2011). Enacting entrepreneurship research in a pioneering, provocative and participative way: on the work of Bengt Johannisson. Small Business Economics, 36(2), 123–134. https://doi.org/10.1007/sl

Vos, T. P., & Singer, J. B. (2016). Media Discourse About Entrepreneurial Journalism. Journalism Practice, 10(2), 143–159. https://doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2015.1124730

Vos, T. P., & Ferrucci, P. (2018). Who am I? Perception of Digital Journalists’ Professional Identity. In S. A. I. Eldridge & B. Franklin (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Digital Journalism Studies (pp. 40–52). London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315270449

Wagemans, A., Witschge, T., & Deuze, M. (2016). Ideology as Resource in Entrepreneurial Journalism. Journalism Practice, 10(2), 160–177. https://doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2015.1124732

Wagemans, A., Witschge, T., & Harbers, F. (2019). Impact as driving force of journalistic and social change. Journalism, 20(4), 552–567. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464884918770538

Wahl-Jorgensen, K. (2019). Emotions, Media and Politics. Oxford: Polity Press.

Wentzer, T. S. (2015). The Eternal Recurrence of the New. In S. Liisberg, E. O. Pedersen, & A. L. Dalsgård (Eds.), Anthropology and Philosophy: Dialogues on Trust and Hope (pp. 76–89). New York: Berghahn.

Witschge, T. (2015). Entrepreneurship at Work: Analyzing Practice, Labour, and Creativity in Journalism. Retrieved from https://www.rug.nl/staff/t.a.c.witschge/entrepreneurship_at_work_witschge.pdf

Witschge, T., Anderson, C. W., Domingo, D., & Hermida, A. (2019). Dealing with the mess (we made): Unraveling hybridity, normativity, and complexity in journalism studies.Journalism, 20(5), 651–659. https://doi.org/10.1177/1464884918760669

Witschge, T., & Deuze, M. (2020). From Suspicion to Wonder in Journalism and Communication Research. Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, 97(2), 360–375. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077699020912385

Young, S., & Carson, A. (2018). What is a Journalist ? The view from employers as revealed by their job vacancy advertisements. Journalism Studies, 19(3), 452–472. https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2016.1190665




How to Cite

Brouwers, A. D., & Witschge, T. (2020). Hope as a Portal to Change: Reimagining Journalism’s Value(s). Sociologica, 14(2), 201–216. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.1971-8853/11238