Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Innovation Journalism as a Research Theme
Innovation Journalism is a new concept in journalism. It's also a new concept in innovation research. There has not been any systematic work done on the role of journalism in innovation systems. This is needed.
Last week a group of innovation researchers gathered at a workshop that I organized here at Wallenberg Hall@Stanford together with Marc Ventresca (Saeid Business School@Oxford) and Antti Ainamo (SCANCOR@Stanford + Helsinki University). The other participants: Stine Grodal, Stanford; Andrew Hargadon, UC Davis; Stefan Jonsson, SCANCOR@Stanford + Stockholm School of Economics; Turo Uskali,InJo@Stanford + University of Jyväskylä; and Alisa Weinstein, InnovationJournalism.
We discussed Innovation Journalism and the Role of Journalism in Innovation (Eco)Systems as themes for scholarly research. The opinion was positive! We are writing up a workshop report that will present the case.
I believe that innovation researchers need to introduce journalism into their models. Journalism is a powerful actor. Also, academic research offers tools for looking into best practices of innovation journalism, which is good for journalists.
Research can analyze interdependencies between journalists and other actors in the innovation systems, sorting out situations where journalists run into conflicts of interest, or where journalists may be tempted to be loyal to other parties than the readership or the publication. Reserach can uncover hidden dependencies that journalists may not even be aware of that they are influenced by. All of this should be potentially useful for practitioners.
The Innovation Journalism Program network of practitioners that has been built up so far should offer attractive possibilities for the researchers to partner with practitioners. If both practitioners and researchers will enjoy meeting each other through the program, then it will happen.