The Power Play of Ed­i­to­r­ial Patch­work


Session Title:

  • Patchwork Panel: Conceptualising Seams that Separate and Stitch Together

Presentation Title:

  • The Power Play of Ed­i­to­r­ial Patch­work




  • Panel: Patchwork Panel: Conceptualising Seams that Separate and Stitch Together

    Using the lan­guage of Jour­nal­ism stud­ies and the­o­ries of the French so­ci­ol­o­gist Pierre Bour­dieu, and my own ex­pe­ri­ence of con­duct­ing an ed­i­to­r­ial board at a text-mes­sage sewing cir­cle I will in this paper dis­cuss the gen­dered prac­tices of col­lec­tive story telling in tra­di­tional news-medium as well as in tra­di­tional patch­work sewing cir­cles. Both these – equally tra­di­tional – prac­tices pro­duce prod­ucts with col­lec­tive nar­ra­tive: pieces of news and patch­work quilt re­spec­tively. In both prac­tices the de­ci­sions of what nar­ra­tive that is im­por­tant enough to be printed or sewn is made in a col­lec­tive gath­er­ing: the ed­i­to­r­ial board and the sewing cir­cle re­spec­tively. The dif­fer­ences are how­ever vast, and go be­yond medium pro­duc­tion processes and econ­omy. The prac­tices are con­strued on ei­ther side of the gen­der-di­chotomy. The ed­i­to­r­ial board in the field of jour­nal­ism is a place of male power and sites of conflict and power play, where ed­i­tors patch to­gether to­mor­row’s edi­tion by shar­ing out pieces of news to jour­nal­ists. The hard­est and hottest pieces are mostly awarded to male jour­nal­ists, whereas lesser sta­tus soft news is given to fe­male jour­nal­ists. In order to cope in jour­nal­ism, many fe­male jour­nal­ists use guer­rilla tac­tics.?The ed­i­to­r­ial sewing cir­cle can sim­i­larly be un­der­stood as a guer­rilla tac­tic. It crosses the gen­der-line by tak­ing some­thing con­strued as soft, fe­male, unim­por­tant, pri­vate hobby, and plac­ing it in a hard, im­por­tant, pub­lic, artis­tic, dig­i­tal media land­scape.