Securing The Future Of Journalism: How Discourse, Logics, And Champions Clarify Information Security In Journalism And Journalism Education

Jennifer Henrichsen, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

Focusing on new technologies and the implications they raise for the nature of journalism, this dissertation examines why journalists and journalism educators are reluctant to take available steps to better protect themselves, their communications, and their sources despite increasing levels of surveillance, digital attacks, and political enmity. Using concepts from new institutionalism and the institutional logics perspective, I scrutinize journalistic responses as they relate to the risks raised by information security. Drawing from 73 interviews with journalists, technologists, and journalism educators, I situate journalists’ and journalism educators’ resistance to change as a challenge to what journalism is and could be amidst an increasingly deteriorating environment of harassment and threats. In doing so, I articulate how such adherence to the status quo parallels an intransigence and subsequent fragility facing democratic institutions more broadly and how this poses a threat to the modern political project of liberal democracy. To begin to remedy this issue, I develop a three-point heuristic, reflecting a discursive process that offers organizing principles for introducing information security more fully into journalism and journalism education.