Virtual newsrooms have enormous potential: enabling journalists around the world to pool their knowledge, skills and perspectives within joint projects, such as the Panama Papers. These virtual newsrooms are supported by Online Collaborative Software (OCS), the most popular of which is Slack. This article presents the first, in-depth ethnographic study of a news outlet’s Slack newsroom, asking two broad questions: how does Slack shape journalistic practices? And how can we theorise these digital platforms? Our research found that Slack deepened relationships and enabled new creative practices across geographic regions. However, it also contributed to the erasure of the line between private and professional spheres for workers, and introduced new opportunities for management to shape newsroom culture. We argue that the concept of ‘space’ as developed by Harvey can helpfully frame the analysis of these new, important digital platforms.
- Virtual newsroom
- News Production