The history of journalism includes many and varied forms of cooperation, as far back as landmark events such as the creation of the Associated Press by five New York newspapers in 1846 to share costs related to the coverage of the Mexican-American War. What sets the current phase of collaboration apart from previous ones is the wide diffusion of networked forms of organization and production, and the transformative impact of these cooperative practices in reshaping the new media world and its underlying social and technological infrastructure as public utilities.
This report explores the gradual development of this phenomenon and the related development of a new commons for journalism, or a collection of shared resources and communities reconfiguring the material and cultural conditions of newswork as a social practice subject to dilemmas that require cooperation. The journalism commons, often going unrecognized in the academic and public discourse on the future of media, offers a framework to make sense of the new schemes of human relations, production, and governance.
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