Normalizing mobile media?

A leftover thought from Research Wednesday.

This is a new working hypothesis of mine, but I wonder if the upheaval that mobile technology is creating to journalism practices (and journalism as a whole) is because it is more resistant to normalization than other forms of new media.

In media terms, normalization occurs when journalists adapt a new media format to the existing norms, values, and practices of news work. This was first shown by Jane Singer in her study of journalism blogs during the 2004 presidential election, and was later adapted to explain how journalists use Twitter by Dominic Lasorsa, Seth Lewis and Avery Holton. Basically, the idea beyond normalization is that journalism isn’t changed by the new platforms but rather journalism changes the new platforms to fit existing norms, practices and routines.

But I wonder if mobile technology is immune to that in a way that social media was not. The traditional ways of doing sports journalism — writing stories of a certain length and structure, having the story as the central part of journalism rather than the piece of information — do not seem to inherently fit into the mobile world. Success in this area is not going to come from taking our traditional work and cramming it into a mobile screen.

If journalists aren’t able to normalize mobile media the way they did social media, will that mean they are hesitant to adopt the new platforms? And will it hurt traditional journalism?

It’s an unformed thought, but one I’ll be spending some time with.