Meanwhile we are working on the development of 'Introducing Artistic Journalism', an initiative in collaboration with Stijn Postema (PhD researcher faculty of Media Studies University of Amsterdam) that investigates, introduces and promotes an interdisciplinary approach to design, art and journalism.
The project creates stage for 'Artistic Journalism' that serves as a landmark and enrichment for the contemporary and future news industry. Through 'Introducing Artistic Journalism' we aim to inspire, inform and challenge (traditional) professional practice to connect with an emerging aesthetic truth practice.
Today's and tomorrow's journalism faces major challenges. Established media are under increasing pressure and are aware of the need to distinguish themselves in order to attract an audience. Digitization and the need for innovation gradually lead to more interest in design and methods such as ‘design thinking’, but thinking about this is currently taking place in a small circle of initiates. And that is unfortunate, because successful innovation opportunities, which are so desirable by journalism, are available in areas that traditionally do not belong to journalism.
As far as means of expression and publication are concerned, journalism is generally still limited to a 19th and early 20th century approach, and this traditionalism often predominates in the search for innovation. Of course, factuality, verification, analysis and finding of truth are inalienable characteristics of journalism, but that does not mean that forms of communication and strategy can be drastically renewed. Contemporary developments in the world of design and art are extremely suitable for this.
Gradually, the cultural sector is enriched with media projects that are appreciated for both their artistic and content qualities. A new generation of content-driven artists and designers focuses on the development of experimental media forms. These are experts who not only limit themselves in their expressions to visual or aesthetic support of 'content', but who focus on complex social issues and concept development. Their projects highlight relevant social issues in an urgent and contemporary manner.
This development is still so fresh and new that all kinds of labels are affixed: artistic research, design research, social design, critical design, information design, speculative design and investigative design. Whatever name is given to it, it is always about a stimulating way of researching, questioning and presenting social issues.
There are now countless artists and designers who create work that can also be seen as journalism. In addition, there are various forms of communication that can be experienced at the same time as journalism and as design or art. These new developments in journalistic art and artistic journalism - which we call 'Artistic Journalism' - not only have enormous potential for journalistic professional practice, but are also capable of taking the creative sector beyond mere applied artistry. Remarkably enough, 'Artistic Journalism' has hardly been mapped.
For example, a domain for the publication of artistic journalistic projects is missing and the public is still mainly reached through cultural platforms. The works circulate mainly within the artistic circuit, so that actual impact remains limited. Productions from journalism, on the other hand, mainly find their way through established media channels.
ACED and Stijn Postema have initiated 'Introducing Artistic Journalism' to break the boundary between the journalistic and cultural domain. The project aims to provide insight into and increase the fertile possibilities of interaction between both domains, based on the conviction that this cross-disciplinary approach provides valuable and innovative added value that makes an important contribution to our culture.
'Introducing Artistic Journalism' has been honored with a grant from the Creative Industries Fund NL. The first results of the project will be published in September 2019.