The rise of new media technologies and increasing access to free news has lead to a crisis of identity in modern journalism. With internet access becoming increasingly ubiquitous, news is becoming a free resource rather than a commercial product. Online publishing has allowed “the people formerly known as the audience” to become increasingly involved in the news gathering process, threatening the traditional role of journalists. Coupled with declining circulation of newspapers and decreasing viewership of traditional media the business models of many traditional news organisations are also under threat. Among the reasons often cited for this decline in traditional news is a lack of trust in journalists and news outlets in Australia. This crisis of identity for news media and journalism has necessitated innovations in how news is gathered and reported in the modern media environment. Open journalism is one response to this challenging media environment; offering a potentially more transparent alternative to traditional news gathering models and is one possible future for journalism in Australia.
The project aims to evaluate the current state of Australian journalism in the digital age, in respect to its journalistic practices, business models, and its possibilities for the future. We will explore different models of open journalism in terms of their potential applications and relationship to professional journalism.