International Journal of Communication Publishes a Special Section on Media and Uncertainty

International Journal of Communication Publishes a Special Section on Media and Uncertainty

Within media environments, uncertainty builds from the rapid unfolding and often unforeseen ramifications of digital technology, the collapse of traditional business models, new degrees of irrelevance, the emergence of new players and platforms, the development of new reception practices, changing expectations of what media are for, and a shift in the very relationship of the media to the outside world. In an era marked by widespread dis- and mis-information, how and in what ways will the media—as institutions, as occupational and professional contexts, as a diverse set of practices—adapt to this age of uncertainty?

Guest-edited by Nelson Ribeiro and Barbie Zelizer, this Special Section on Media and Uncertainty aims to discuss the uncertainty faced by media practitioners and journalists, as well as the institutional settings in which they work.

Two of the papers in this Section focus on video production, discussing how the video influencer industry has been captured by the neoliberal agenda that is taking over several cultural industries. They also consider how states and governments use video footage to promote and legitimize their narratives in the digital ecosystem. Three additional articles deal with journalism and the challenges posed by the transformation of its business models and relations with the public. They call for the need to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate forms of market and state influence, shed light on how media professionals navigate the uncertainty brought about by local newspapers closing, and discuss how social media can function as ephemeral memory sites used to share memories about journalistic projects that have been shut down.

All of the articles in this Section exemplify how central the concept of uncertainty has become for understanding the new media ecology, and how the media both foster and complicate how citizens can navigate uncertain times. They raise questions about the viability of media institutions when uncertainty looms large.

We invite you to read these articles that published in the International Journal of Communication on August 11, 2022. Please log into to read the papers of interest. We look forward to your feedback! 

Media and Uncertainty—Introduction
Nelson Ribeiro, Barbie Zelizer

“We’re All Told Not to Put Our Eggs in One Basket”: Uncertainty, Precarity and Cross-Platform Labor in the Online Video Influencer Industry
Zoë Glatt

In One Hand, a Camera, and in the Other, a Gun: State Adoption of Visual Activist Strategies for Narrative Legitimacy     
Anat Leshnick

Understanding the Institutional Precarity of Journalism: A Macro Approach to the Civil Diminishment of Journalism
Sara Torsner

Local Journalism in the Age of Uncertainty: The Case of Youngstown, Ohio’s The Vindicator      
Carla Randolph Everstijn 

Connective Memory Practices: Mourning the Restructuring of a War Desk       
Muira Mccammon 

Larry Gross, Editor
Arlene Luck, Founding Managing Editor  
Kady Bell-Garcia, Managing Editor
Nelson Ribeiro and Barbie Zelizer, Guest Editors

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