Concluding remarks

The picture that emerges is one of remarkable discursive stability across journalistic contexts. The funding increase travels from a telephone conversation across a story meeting, onto a reporter's computer screen and into the business news section. The reporter's mediating labour is, in essence, a matter of digital fact-checking and organising information for local markets. This supports the claim that newswriting is a 'reproductive process in which professionals contribute to glocalized newsflows by transforming source texts into public target texts' (Perrin, 2013). As we have seen, these glocalised newsflows coordinate and standardise the institutional activity (Smith, 2006) that the reporter engages in. The wider theoretical relevance of this sort of knowledge remains important, not only to document how journalism is changing, but also to understand what can be gained and lost from a move to a fully-fledged digital journalism.

I agree with Murphy (2011) that conducting fieldwork in a digital environment turns 'the field' [into] a considerably less concrete and empirically 'knowable' place, and that the there in 'being there', so foundational to traditional ethnography, has been fundamentally transformed in relation to media-centric issues of flow and fluidity of information within a networked society. It therefore becomes necessary to complement and augment fieldwork. The research described here employed contrastive and computer-assisted observations, a narrow research focus and key informants. Keystroke logging software was used to enhance the time spent in the field and collect data made available through developments in technology. The resulting data set allowed me to sustain a productive tension between text and social practice. More specifically, by tracking selected news stories across time and space, I was able to compare 'talk around text' (Lillis, 2008) with detailed representations of digital information practices. The added purchase is a linguistic ethnographic perspective on business news production that extends beyond the reach of linguistic and ethnographic work in journalism studies.

 
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