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The relational UX: Constructing repertoires of audience agency in pioneer journalism practice

Anderson, Bissie


Bissie Anderson


This article examines how "pioneer journalists" (Hepp & Loosen, 2021) in legacy newsrooms create preferred audience experiences through their UX practices in a networked media ecosystem where journalism's epistemic authority is increasingly contested. Grounded in the encoding/decoding paradigm (Hall, 1973, 1980), this study combines semi-structured interviews with 12 journalism pioneers in London-based legacy newsrooms, with the in-depth analysis of the multimodal/interactivity features of two example stories. The findings suggest that audiences are interpellated through the construction of repertoires of agency grounded in empathy, for a closer, more immediate, and active involvement in the story. By creating 'relational UXs' that try to control the travel of meanings and the production of emotions, pioneers in legacy news organisations place a stronger emphasis on the relational negotiation of epistemic authority, a strategy to simultaneously embrace active audiences and sustain journalism’s traditional raison d’etre – making sense of the world for the public.


ANDERSON, B. 2021. The relational UX: constructing repertoires of audience agency in pioneer journalism practice. Mediální studia/ Media studies [online], 15(2), pages 167-189. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 1, 2021
Online Publication Date Jan 5, 2021
Publication Date Dec 31, 2021
Deposit Date Sep 14, 2022
Publicly Available Date Sep 16, 2022
Journal Medialni Studia/Media Studies: Journal for Critical Media Inquiry
Electronic ISSN 2464-4846
Publisher Charles University
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 2
Pages 167-189
Keywords Pioneer journalism; Innovation; UX design; Encoding/decoding; Audience engagement; Epistemic authority
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