The Hoser website. Text in top right reads "The Hoser: Local independent journalism in the GTA." Photo of a handful of people, some holding signs reading "Better staffing care wages" and "stop appeal"
Screenshot of one of The Hoser's local news stories.

Journalism startups as networks in transition: The case of The Hoser

How Actor Network Theory helps us gain an understanding of the distinctive qualities of journalism startups Continue Reading Journalism startups as networks in transition: The case of The Hoser

By Tamar Weinstein

with commentary by Shannon Carranco and Kevin Taghabon

Toronto has been a centre for media covering international, Canadian, as well as local news, but often important stories were left out — voices of people who have made the metropolitan area multicultural and vibrant. The challenges they faced in the increasingly divided city — between the haves and the have-nots — were largely ignored. It was a recognition of this gap that brought together a group of recent journalism graduates in the fall of 2021 to establish a journalistic startup: The Hoser with a “focus on local GTA [Greater Toronto Area] news with a progressive approach.”

The question this article will explore is the extent to which technologies enabled the emergence of The Hoser and the weight of other considerations, including an interest in pursuing a more participatory and more democratic form of journalism than that offered by mainstream media organizations. Bruno Latour’s Actor Network Theory offers an approach that enables journalism researchers to trace the diversity of actors—human and nonhuman—actants and the ways in which they come together to practice the production and circulation of stories. Some scholars have employed ANT to explore how digitization has impacted newsrooms. Others have examined “big data’’ and journalism. Interestingly, there are few studies adapting ANT to better understand the emergence of and practices of online journalism outlets. This gap focuses the research on The Hoser, exploring insights ANT may provide.


This article appears in the Spring 2023 issue of Facts and Frictions. Read the article here.

Facts and Frictions is published by J-Schools Canada/Écoles-J Canada, Canada’s national association for post-secondary journalism research and education. All content is open access and available via J-Source.