Over the past two decades, innovation has become a buzzword across industries, and journalism is no exception. Much of the innovation in journalism has taken place against discourses of economic crisis, owing to the atomization of print advertising, newspaper closures and job losses. In parallel, innovation has tended to be associated with technological developments, from the digital transformation of print journalism to the web, social media, live video to AI and virtual reality. After more than 20 years of digital journalism, it is time to take stock of what innovation has wrought in journalism. This chapter draws on research in Canada, which, similar to other countries with a liberal, largely commercial media system, is showing signs of market failure. Arguably, innovation as a technology-led solution has failed to save this country’s legacy journalism. It has obviously contributed to journalism change and development. But it has not led to economic sustainability and growth for the majority of commercial journalism organizations, while many organizations are facing criticism about racism and harms to long misrepresented and underserved audiences.
Citation: Hermida, Alfred and Young, Mary Lynn (2021). Journalism Innovation in a Time of Survival. In News Media Innovation Reconsidered, Maria Luengo and Susana Herrera-Damas (eds.). Wiley-Blackwell.