- Postprint Digital Innovation During Terror and Crises.pdf (2M)
Taylor and Francis
Terror attacks are moments of chaos and destabilization. From a journalistic perspective, terror attacks disrupt everyday news work where journalists find themselves struggling to restore order and report the event at hand as accurate and speedy as possible. From the perspective of the affected audience, journalism fills vital functions in making sense of the attack, by responding to a complex and rapidly changing mix of social needs. In this article, we explore how such disrupting events as terror can contribute to newsroom innovation in terms of journalistic processes, journalistic products, and even journalistic genres. We use the terror attack and massacre in Norway on 22 July 2011 as a case study, as it to a large extent forced journalists to think outside the box in order to meet the audience’s informational and rhetorical needs. The study shows that innovation is tightly connected to the development of the rhetorical situation through three phases: shock, start-up, and transformation. The analysis is based on qualitative interviews with journalists who covered the attack, as well as a rhetorical exploration of the evolving situational context and the texts that were created in response.