Abstract - The Information Society 26(4)

The Future of the Press: Insights from the Socio-technical Approach

Leopoldina Fortunati and Mauro Sarrica

In Europe and U.S. the decline of newspapers started long before the advent of the Internet. However, the spread of the Internet has accelerated this decline. But is the future of the newspapers really endangered? To answer this question we propose a reflection on the insights that the socio-technical system perspective, drawn from organizational studies, can offer for media research. We first analyse four of the main principles of the socio-technical perspective: open systems, dynamic stability, optimisation of technical and social functions, and control of boundaries. We then employ these analytical tools to examine the power relationships between journalists, the publishers/editors and the audiences. The socio-technical approach proves to be an interesting approach for the interpretation of the changes occurring in the journalism and for the elaboration of future solutions and management strategies.

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