Social Epistemology as a New Paradigm for Journalism and Media Studies

New Media and Society (forthcoming)
Authors
Boaz Miller
Zefat Academic College
Abstract
Journalism and media studies lack robust theoretical concepts for studying journalistic knowledge ‎generation. More specifically, conceptual challenges attend the emergence of big data and ‎algorithmic sources of journalistic knowledge. A family of frameworks apt to this challenge is ‎provided by “social epistemology”: a young philosophical field which regards society’s participation ‎in knowledge generation as inevitable. Social epistemology offers the best of both worlds for ‎journalists and media scholars: a thorough familiarity with biases and failures of obtaining ‎knowledge, and a strong orientation toward best practices in the realm of knowledge-acquisition ‎and truth-seeking. This paper articulates the lessons of social epistemology for two central nodes of ‎knowledge-acquisition in contemporary journalism: human-mediated knowledge and technology-‎mediated knowledge. ‎
Keywords social epistemology  journalism  testimony  technology  knowledge  new media  internet
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