THE TWO KOFI MEMBERS ANDREAS HEPP AND WIEBKE LOOSEN publish a research article on the conceptualisation of the role of pioneer journalists and pioneer communities in the organisational refiguration of journalism..

The essay was published in the academic journal “Journalism”. Recent journalism research often argues that it is high time that we moved beyond the newsroom and begin asking who it is that is stimulating transformation and not what it is, as individual journalists, entrepreneurs, technology firms, and startups assume an increasingly critical role in the development of the field. This article introduces the concept of ‘pioneer journalism’ to provide just such an analysis across different organizational contexts. Pioneer journalism is understood as a particular group of journalists that incorporates new organizational forms and experimental practice in pursuit of redefining the field and its structural foundations. To introduce this concept, the article argues along three stages. First, it develops a theoretical basis on which to pin our understanding of pioneering practice by reviewing previous research into journalism’s transformation beyond the newsroom. Second, it extends the theoretical discussion into the empirical realm by looking at five extreme cases of pioneer journalists through an explorative interview analysis. Third, and to conclude, an integrated concept of pioneer journalism is outlined as a point of departure from which to further consider journalism’s re-figuration more generally.

The essay is available free of charge in full here.