Journalism Innovation
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Journalism innovation
Media labs
Media innovation
Experimental innovation Labs
Digital media.

How to Cite

Bisso Nunes, A. C., & Mills, J. (2021). Journalism Innovation: How Media Labs Are Shaping the Future of Media and Journalism. Brazilian Journalism Research, 17(3), 652–679.


ABSTRACT – This paper discusses journalism innovation through experimental units known as “media labs”, addressing motivations, processes and outputs related to them. It is based on collaborative four-year research projects that mapped 123 labs within industry, civic society, and academia globally, with a focus on Latin America, North America and Europe. The data spans 45 interviews and 54 survey answers from lab leaders across 17 countries and covers 60 innovation outputs, with 30 closely related to media and journalism. The paper’s main theoretical frames incorporate open innovation and constructs from media innovation and media management. The results indicate that media labs are either within organisations or alongside them, producing projects systematically and experimentally as a reaction to digital disruption. Within an environment of scarcity, they catalyse innovation and combine technical and creative skills, unveiling solutions beyond new narratives or content-related innovations.

RESUMO – Este artigo discute inovação em jornalismo através de laboratórios experimentais denominados media labs, abordando motivações, processos e resultados relacionados a eles. A investigação é baseada em quatro anos de projetos de pesquisa colaborativos que mapearam 123 laboratórios na indústria, sociedade civil e academia em âmbito global, especialmente na América Latina, América do Norte e Europa. Os dados abrangem 45 entrevistas e 54 questionários com líderes de laboratório de 17 países, assim como 60 resultados de inovação, 30 deles mais estreitamente relacionados à mídia e ao jornalismo. Os principais quadros teóricos incorporam inovação aberta e constructos da pesquisa em inovação e gerenciamento de mídia. Os resultados indicam que media labs estão dentro ou próximo de organizações, produzindo projetos de forma sistemática e experimental como uma reação à disrupção digital. Em um contexto de escassez, eles catalisam a inovação combinando habilidades técnicas e criativas, desenvolvendo soluções além da inovação em narrativas.

RESUMEN – Este artículo analiza la Innovación en Periodismo a través de laboratorios experimentales denominados media labs, abordando motivaciones, procesos y resultados relacionados con ellos. La investigación se basa en cuatro años de proyectos de investigación colaborativa que mapearon 123 laboratorios en la industria, la sociedad civil y la academia a nivel mundial, especialmente en América Latina, América del Norte y Europa. Los datos comprenden 45 entrevistas y 54 cuestionarios con líderes de laboratorio de 17 países, así como 60 resultados de innovación, con especial atención a 30 de los cuales están más estrechamente relacionados con los medios y el periodismo. Los principales marcos teóricos incorporan la innovación abierta y los constructos de investigación en innovación y gestión de medios. Los resultados indican que los media labs están dentro o cerca de las organizaciones, produciendo proyectos de forma sistemática y experimental como reacción a la disrupción digital. En un contexto de escasez, catalizan la innovación combinando habilidades técnicas y creativas, desarrollando soluciones más allá de la innovación narrativa.
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