Producing in urgency. The management of unpredictability in the world of journalism
Journalistic work is structurally confronted with urgent situations. Unlike other sectors using just-in-time methods, here urgency is not only the result of random failures in the production cycle, it also relates to the nature of the commodity itself —current affairs— which must be handled within the context of a collective organization. Based on observations and interviews in the written press, this article examines how urgency impacts on daily journalistic production. It highlights attempts at serialization within this flow of unique products and the slim possibility of negotiating irreversibility —inherent in industrial processes. The solution to the problems posed by urgent situations principally stems from inventory management, emphasizing the central role of forecasting in situations where the content of the work is itself characterized by uncertainty.
Keywords. MANAGEMENT OF UNCERTAINTY – FORECASTING – URGENCY – JOURNALISM – ETHNOGRAPHY