Related Articles about

Forthcoming Articles

 

Communication Journalism
by
Matt Carlson
  • LAST MODIFIED: 23 February 2011
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756841-0067

Introduction

The study of journalism is complicated by questions of just what journalism is. Journalism can be viewed as a profession employing thousands of workers, a practice with a set of rules and expectations, and a product that we also call news. Scholars have been exploring these phenomena through a variety of methods and theoretical approaches over the past century. The interest in journalism as a particular form of media work stems from the close association between news and democratic governance. Self-governing societies too large to communicate face-to-face require a mechanism for citizens to gather information about public life. This task has been largely divorced from the state, creating an independent voice outside the government to inform citizens about what that government is—or is not—doing. This conception of news underlies research on a variety of topics ranging from legal policies to sourcing routines. But journalism research extends beyond the political to the cultural. Journalism creates a commonly consumed text that continuously tells us about how the world works, who is important, and what is right or wrong. This focus has given rise to an interest in narratives, myths and collective memory. As a whole, these issues all remain central as journalists and journalism researchers seek to make sense of how changes in technologies are altering this thing we call journalism.

Textbooks

Scores of journalism textbooks instruct students in developing their skills as they seek to become practitioners. Other textbooks focus on mass communication or media studies as a more general area. Only a few textbooks adopt a research perspective in relation to the news. In this section, these books adopt different tones. Meyer 1991 aims to help journalists understand better how to incorporate social scientific methods into their work. Shoemaker and Reese 1996 provides an overview of how to think about forces shaping news content. Finally, Allan 1999 and Harcup 2009 reviews cultural and critical research on journalism in an accessible tone.

  • Allan, Stuart. 1999. News culture. Philadelphia: Open Univ. Press.

    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    This book addresses news from a cultural/critical perspective, relying heavily on major works in the field. It also includes a glossary. While mostly focusing on British scholars, it also includes American work and some European thinkers. Major sections include media history, ideological (political economic) perspectives, cultural production, audiences, gender and race.

    Find this resource:

    • Harcup, Tony. 2009. Journalism: Principles and practices. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      This textbook mixes journalism skills with academic research on journalism in a presentable and readable manner. Its unique layout moves the glossary into the text as its own column alongside the narrative of the text. Written from a British perspective, but useful internationally.

      Find this resource:

      • Meyer, Philip. 1991. The new precision journalism. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press.

        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        In this updated version, Meyer helps guide journalists in their use of social scientific data. The book contains useful chapters on statistics, survey research, databases, and experiments written in an accessible and lively manner.

        Find this resource:

        • Shoemaker, Pamela J., and Stephen D. Reese. 1996. Mediating the message: Theories of influences on mass media content. White Plains, NY: Longman.

          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          This comprehensive account of the forces shaping news production carefully examines a wide range of constraints on news. The book is an easy-to-understand primer and an important guide to doing research on how the news gets made.

          Find this resource:

          Reference Works

          Researching journalism involves knowledge of the research terms as well as the technical terms that journalists use to describe their work. With the former, journalism draws on a range of cognate areas, including mass communication, public opinion, organizational studies, textual and narrative analysis, ethnography, and many others. No one perspective will suffice, which makes reference works quite important in understanding the multiplicity of research perspectives. Zelizer 2004 provides a thorough introduction to all of these areas. At the same time, studying journalism requires knowledge of the various terms that journalists use to talk about their own work. Both Franklin, et al. 2005 and Zelizer and Allan 2010 offer alphabetically organized glossaries of research and technical terms. For more information, Sterling 2009 provides encyclopedia length entries. Finally, Cates 1990 provides a wide-ranging overview of available reference materials dealing with journalism.

          • Cates, Jo A. 1990. Journalism: A guide to the reference literature. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.

            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            Assembled by the head librarian of the Poynter Institute, this annotated bibliography draws together 728 references ranging from reference books to biographies, periodicals, databases, and media centers.

            Find this resource:

            • Franklin, Bob, Martin Hamer, Mark Hanna, Marie Kinsey, and John E. Richardson. 2005. Key concepts in journalism studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              This extensive lexicon of key concepts includes both scholarly and technical entries. It is useful for students as a handy guide to basic terms that often go unexplained.

              Find this resource:

              • Sterling, Christopher H., ed. 2009. Encyclopedia of journalism. 6 vols. Los Angeles: SAGE.

                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                The first four volumes of this six-volume encyclopedia contain 360 alphabetized entries about journalism around the world. The fifth volume is a collection of documents about journalism from the Bill of Rights to educational curricula. The final volume lists major journalistic awards. A useful guide for understanding how news works.

                Find this resource:

                • Zelizer, Barbie. 2004. Taking journalism seriously: News and the academy. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  While not a pure reference book, this comprehensive review tracks journalism research across five different thematic divides: sociology, history, language studies, political science and cultural analysis. Each chapter provides background on work in these areas as well as reviews major works. The book is capped by a lengthy bibliography.

                  Find this resource:

                  • Zelizer, Barbie, and Stuart Allan. 2010. Keywords in news and journalism studies. Philadelphia: Open Univ. Press.

                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    This glossary of keywords spans both media and reporting genres. The 350 entries include scholarly concepts as well as technical terminology pertaining to news.

                    Find this resource:

                    Anthologies

                    Anthologies of journalism research gain their value from the curating work of the editor by either selecting foundational texts or assembling thematic treatments of an important issue. By seeking out key texts or the contributions of leading scholars, they provide important sites for identifying and constructing the most significant works of the field. The anthologies in this section follow different strategies. Tumber 1999, Berkowitz 1997, and Berkowitz 2011 contain abridged versions of canonic texts spanning decades of research, framed by the editors’ overviews. By contrast, Allan 2005, Allan 2010, Wahl-Jorgensen and Hanitzsch 2009, and Overholser and Jamieson 2005 feature prominent scholars summarizing research in particular areas. Finally, Cohen and Young 1973 is a classic collection of journalism research that has retained its usefulness and relevance decades after its release.

                    • Allan, Stuart, ed. 2005. Journalism: Critical issues. Maidenhead, UK: Open Univ. Press.

                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      The twenty-seven original contributions comprising this volume all tackle a different problem area for journalism, ranging from the economics of news work to representations of race. Each essay tracks the contours of its issue and provides useful background for students or researchers interested in the area.

                      Find this resource:

                      • Allan, Stuart, ed. 2010. The Routledge companion to news and journalism. London: Routledge.

                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                        This wide-ranging collection of over fifty essays assembles experts from across the globe to summarize journalism research. It is an important reference work the provides concise introductions to a variety of issues within journalism from normative concerns to trends in globalization.

                        Find this resource:

                        • Berkowitz, Daniel, ed. 1997. Social meanings of news. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          This volume starts with a conception of news as a social construct created through common practices and beliefs shared by the journalistic community. Following this claim, the thirty contributors explore different aspects of news, including a thorough section on the mythic and storytelling aspects of news discourse.

                          Find this resource:

                          • Berkowitz, Daniel, ed. 2011. Cultural meanings of news. Los Angeles: SAGE.

                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            In a follow-up to his earlier reader (Berkowitz 1997), this collection stresses the shift from a sociological view centered on interaction to a cultural view focusing on meaning. The twenty-three contributions mostly focus on journalism as a form of cultural production, as well as news as cultural texts.

                            Find this resource:

                            • Cohen, Stanley, and Jock Young, eds. 1973. The manufacture of news: Social problems, deviance and the mass media. London: Constable.

                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              The essays in this classic volume investigate how news reports represent deviance and frame social problems. Far from rendering value-free accounts, the authors show how choices at the level of selection and presentation favor the interests of social elites while marginalizing or demonizing alternative viewpoints.

                              Find this resource:

                              • Overholser, Geneva, and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, eds. 2005. The press. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                Concerned with the press as it pertains to the functioning of democracy, this collection of essays explores both normative questions about journalism and practical questions about the structure of news and the relationships between journalists and their sources.

                                Find this resource:

                                • Tumber, Howard, ed. 1999. News: A reader. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  This anthology contains key works in journalism studies from primarily the United States and the United Kingdom. It includes comprehensive sections on news sources and news ideology, as well as news production.

                                  Find this resource:

                                  • Wahl-Jorgensen, Karin, and Thomas Hanitzsch, eds. 2009. The handbook of journalism studies. New York: Routledge.

                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    The chapters in this handbook break down the field of journalism studies into thirty subareas ranging from production to content to its impact on society. A final section includes essays on the globalization of journalism and the proliferation of comparative research.

                                    Find this resource:

                                    Tracking Journalism Trends

                                    Several organizations devote their energy to following how journalism is changing. In particular, the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism conducts ongoing research on news trends. Its annual State of the News Media report provides a trove of current data on a variety of United States media. It is an important first stop for information. The other sites provide a variety of resources for both working journalists and those researching journalism. The Poynter Institute constantly produces new content aimed chiefly at helping journalists and journalism educators navigate the changing media environment. Information on newspaper economics can be found on the NAA website while the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press conducts regular surveys of public attitudes concerning the news. In a global context, both Reporters Sans Frontières and the Committee to Protect Journalists advocate for press freedoms and the safety of journalists.

                                    Reviews

                                    Journalism reviews provide news about the news to the journalistic community. These publications generally target working journalists and journalism educators, although they may also appeal to a general audience. The value of these reviews is that they track closely the temperature of journalism, chiming in on controversies or difficulties faced by professional journalists. However, it is important to remember that, even when critical, these publications often adhere to deeply held assumptions and beliefs about how news works and is supposed to work. In some cases, these reviews include summaries of scholarly research reports and reviews of academic books on journalism. Each of these reviews has an active website that offers additional content beyond the print product. The Columbia Journalism Review and the American Journalism Review are the two most established outlets in the United States, each appearing six times a year, while the quarterly British Journalism Review mirrors this style for a United Kingdom audience. Nieman Reports provides similar content, normally written by working journalists. Beyond print, National Public Radio’s On The Media and CNN’s Reliable Sources afford two other mediated spaces for talk about journalism. On the web, the Online Journalism Review specifically targets emerging journalism forms utilizing new media. Other organizations present critiques of the news from a partisan perspective. For example, Fairness and Accuracy in Journalism stakes out a leftist view to lambast media performance. In all, these reviews provide an ongoing conversation about journalism for both practicing journalists and nonjournalists alike.

                                    Journals

                                    For decades, Journalism Quarterly (later renamed Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly) was the dominant journal for research on journalism. Other work appeared in the generalist Journal of Communication and in the United Kingdom, Media, Culture & Society while critically oriented scholarship found room in the Journal of Communication Inquiry. In addition, the Newspaper Research Journal has tracked the US newspaper industry for several decades. At the start of the 21st century, a resurgence of interest in journalism led to the creation of Journalism: Theory, Practice, and Criticism and Journalism Studies, and later, Journalism Practice. The growth in popularity of these journals has opened up new publishing spaces for academics interested in journalism.

                                    History

                                    Journalism has long been interested in its own history, although often in a manner boosting its importance and centrality in social life. Emery 1972 is emblematic of this thick, largely uncritical historical view of journalism. Carey 1974 blasted this style of work as artificially constructing the history of news as advancement and improvement. His call to reconsider journalism history spurred more critical analyses of journalism’s connection to politics and culture over time. For example, Stephens 1988 fills in the gaps of what may be considered a prehistory of news showing enduring trends. Starr 2004 similarly expands an understanding of contemporary media structures through their 18th- and 19th-century antecedents. Habermas 1991 connects newspapers to the public sphere in 18th century Europe. Conversely, Chalaby 1998 argues for a more recent birth of contemporary journalism in the second half of the 19th century. Meanwhile, Leonard 1986 and Nord 2001 reconnect with the past with a rich view of journalistic work and its reception. Taken together, these works have helped portray a more complicated, less self-determining view of journalism.

                                    • Carey, James W. 1974. The problem of journalism history. Journalism History 1.1: 3–5, 27.

                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      Carey casts aside “whiggish” histories of journalism as progress to focus on cultural aspects of journalism history. This move deepens journalism’s historical role as embodying the consciousness of society. Such a history examines journalism in its capacity of symbolic production that generates a conception of meaning for its audiences.

                                      Find this resource:

                                      • Chalaby, Jean. 1998. The invention of journalism. London: Macmillan.

                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        In contrast to Stephens 1988, Chalaby argues that journalism has more recent origins in the 19th century. In tracking the British press, this study promotes a view of journalism as a particular discursive practice with its norms of practice, economic structures, and ideological commitments.

                                        Find this resource:

                                        • Emery, Edwin. 1972. The press and America: An interpretive history of the mass media. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          This exhaustive history, just shy of eight hundred pages, provides a thorough recounting of journalism history, expressed as “man’s long struggle to communicate freely with his fellow men” (p. iii). The book is heavily focused on individuals and events with a number of illustrations of historical figures and newspaper pages.

                                          Find this resource:

                                          • Habermas, Jürgen. 1991. The structural transformation of the public sphere: An inquiry into a category of bourgeois society. Translated by Thomas Burger. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            While this classic book, originally published in German in 1962, is mostly acknowledged for its history of the “public sphere,” it can also be read as a history of the importance of early newspapers in providing information to a burgeoning bourgeois class. In this history, journalism and democracy are closely linked.

                                            Find this resource:

                                            • Leonard, Thomas C. 1986. The power of the press: The birth of American political reporting. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              This history of political reporting explores the growth of news about the political process mainly in the 19th century. In particular, Chapter 4 cogently describes how political cartoonist Thomas Nast used drawings to successfully criticize and weaken New York City’s powerful and corrupt Boss Tweed.

                                              Find this resource:

                                              • Nord, David Paul. 2001. Communities of journalism: A history of American newspapers and their readers. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.

                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                This collection of historical essays stresses the role of mass communication—newspapers in particular—in forming communities. Nord focuses on how publics used and read newspapers from colonial times through the early 20th century.

                                                Find this resource:

                                                • Starr, Paul. 2004. The creation of the media: Political origins of modern communications. New York: Basic Books.

                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  Rather than connect technological developments to journalistic change, Starr shows how political choices influenced the development of a media system in the United States that differed from other nations. It becomes clear that analyzing contemporary media politics requires understanding individual choices and state policies made in the 1800s.

                                                  Find this resource:

                                                  • Stephens, Mitchell. 1988. A history of news. New York: Viking.

                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    Rather than promote recent news forms as original, Stephens takes a broad historical view to show connections across centuries of news production and consumption well before the dawn of electronic news forms. Looking past the information side of news, the book examines its cultural role throughout history.

                                                    Find this resource:

                                                    Democracy

                                                    Journalists often support claims of their social importance by describing their work as essential for the healthy functioning of democracy. Any modern democratic society relies heavily on news media to disseminate information to a voting public seeking intelligence about actions and events outside of direct experience. This argument is at once normative and practical, which has led many scholars to question whether the news we have delivers on the democratic promise espoused by journalism. Lippmann 1922 raised pertinent questions about this divide decades ago, launching an evaluative tradition that includes Postman 1985, Entman 1989, Patterson 1993, and Cappella and Jamieson 1997. Cook 1998 challenges understandings of journalism’s democratic role by asserting journalism should be viewed as part of the governing process. Other scholars, notably Siebert, Peterson, and Schramm 1956 sought to further develop a normative model of journalism—expanded again by Christians, et al. 2009.

                                                    • Cappella, Joseph N., and Kathleen Hall Jamieson. Spiral of cynicism: The press and the public good. New York: Oxford Univ. Press. 1997.

                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      The authors posit a negative spiral in which political sources tailor their discourse to meet the conflict-focused, strategy frames preferred by journalists. This results in a lack of focus on issues or problem-solving, which contributes to a public cynical toward both politicians and journalism.

                                                      Find this resource:

                                                      • Christians, Clifford, Theodore L. Glasser, Denis McQuail, Kaarle Nordernstreng, and Robert A. White. 2009. Normative theories of the media: Journalism in democratic societies. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.

                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        Extending the project first articulated by Siebert, Peterson, and Schramm 1956, the authors carefully articulate contemporary normative theories of news. This book expertly discusses democratic philosophy and questions of an ideal press from a global perspective. Part three contrasts the monitorial, facilitative, radical, and collaborative roles of journalism.

                                                        Find this resource:

                                                        • Cook, Timothy E. Governing with the news: The news media as a political institution. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. 1998.

                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          Cook views journalism as its own political institution, instrumental not only in mediating the work of other institutions, but in shaping these institutions as well. Journalists are not merely beholden to sources, but possess power to shape how these sources act, particularly as they seek access to the public.

                                                          Find this resource:

                                                          • Entman, Robert. M. 1989. Democracy without citizens. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            Entman criticizes the press as a poor information resource for citizens. Corporate media ownership, to a large extent, is held responsible for preventing the free press ideals of journalism to successfully emerge. This matters since even with a greater abundance of available news, political participation and voting continues to decline.

                                                            Find this resource:

                                                            • Lippmann, Walter. 1922. Public opinion. New York: Free Press.

                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              This book remains relevant for its insights into a key problem of large-scale democracies: the populace depends on news media for information outside of people’s everyday experience. This becomes problematic because of stereotypes formed through limited exposure to information and poor reporting practices.

                                                              Find this resource:

                                                              • Patterson, Thomas. 1993. Out of order. New York: Knopf.

                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                Patterson criticizes journalism’s poor election coverage. Journalists’ rampant use of sound bytes, focus on strategy, and continuous need for new events imperil efforts by campaigns to provide sustained information. As a result, campaigns must work to suit the news, which lessens the information they can convey to citizens.

                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                • Postman, Neil. 1985. Amusing ourselves to death: Public discourse in the age of show business. New York: Penguin.

                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  Postman traces the shift from the rational, serious political discourse of print culture to the entertainment-oriented, sensationalistic tone of television news. Inspired by Marshall McLuhan, the shift in medium alters content, which for journalism means deemphasizing rational thought in favor of visual and aural sensations.

                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                  • Siebert, Fred S., Theodore Peterson, and Wilbur Schramm. 1956. Four theories of the press: The authoritarian, libertarian, social responsibility and Soviet communist concepts of what the press should be and do. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.

                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    The authors expound on four historical modes of journalism: authoritarian, libertarian, social responsibility, and Soviet totalitarianism to twin journalistic form and function with sociopolitical context. Although valuable for its insights connecting journalism with larger social forms, the rigidity of the model eschews the complexities of news in practice.

                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                    Ideology

                                                                    Critical scholars have raised questions concerning how journalism, while professing itself to be objectivity and detached, reinforces dominant ideologies that support elite interests. These critics view ideology as shared, structured understandings of how the world works that take for granted certain assumptions of what’s acceptable. In the United Kingdom, the Glasgow University Media Group 1976 and Hall, et al. 1978 examined how stories of crime and labor strikes respectively systematically favored official views while discounting other possible perspectives. Gitlin 1980 and Bennett 1983 extend this perspective in viewing journalists as an institution that polices dominant values while demonizing or excluding deviancy, with Herman and Chomsky 1988 going further in labeling the news as propaganda. McChesney 2004 takes a political economy perspective to connect news to the economic and governmental conditions in which it operates. Taken together, this perspective further critiques the norm of objectivity as masking deep-seated allegiances to existing structures of social power.

                                                                    • Bennett, Walter Lance. 1983. News: The politics of illusion. New York: Longman.

                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      Bennett challenges journalism’s reliance on normative standards by demonstrating how elements of journalistic professionalism actually prove detrimental to any normative democratic press role. Bennett flips the bias question around: “the news is not biased in spite of, but precisely because of, the professional journalism standards intended to prevent bias” (p. 76).

                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                      • Gitlin, Todd. 1980. The whole world is watching: Mass media in the making and unmaking of the New Left. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        Gitlin paralleled much of the work in the United Kingdom by bringing the concepts of “ideology” and “hegemony” to the forefront of journalism research. His analysis of press coverage of leftist student movements in the 1960s demonstrates how journalism reinforces the interests of ruling elites while casting protestors as deviants.

                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                        • Glasgow University Media Group. 1976. Bad news. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          This study shows how cultural conventions shape narrative techniques journalists use to produce stories. While the news contains facts, these facts are embedded in structures supporting dominant ideologies. In examining reporting on strikes, the authors disparage journalists for reinforcing authority through relying on official sources as key definers of events.

                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                          • Hall, Stuart, Chas Critcher, Tony Jefferson, John N. Clarke, and Brian Roberts. 1978. Policing the crisis: Mugging, the state and law and order. London: Macmillan.

                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            In showing the construction of an epidemic of mugging in the United Kingdom, Hall and colleagues promote a view of elite sources as “primary definers” able to both dictate the angle of a story and function as a source. Meanwhile, journalists are not conspirators, but trapped by their emphasis on objectivity.

                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                            • Herman, Edward S., and Noam Chomsky. 1988. Manufacturing consent. New York: Pantheon.

                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              Viewing American journalism as propaganda, Herman and Chomsky present a series of “filters” that push news toward a consensual, reinforcing function and away from dissent and conflict. The predominantly profit-oriented United States media system leads to the promotion of news supporting the economic status quo while also appeasing advertisers.

                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                              • McChesney, Robert Waterman. 2004. The problem of the media: U.S. communication politics in the 21st century. New York: Monthly Review Press.

                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                McChesney uses the political economy approach to connect the context of news production, including ownership and policy structures, with a weakened public sphere. The values of the elite, especially those associated with free market capitalism, come to be entrenched in media products.

                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                Journalists as Professionals

                                                                                Journalists have long struggled with a definition of themselves as autonomous, independent chroniclers of daily events. Faced with accusations of inaccuracy, partisanship, or influence from nonjournalists, journalists have cultivated an idea of their work as a profession. As Soloski 1989 rightly asserts, despite an uneasy fit with professionalism due to a lack of enforceable boundaries separating journalists from everyone else, the importance journalists ascribe to professionalism deserves attention. White 1950, Breed 1955, and Galtung and Ruge 1965 sought to understand how journalists make decisions, with the latter offering a schematic of this process. Professionalism also emerged in newsroom ethnographies and research on news and objectivity. After a dormant period, the question of professionalism gained new relevance thanks to alternative news forms promoted by the public journalism movement and citizen journalists. Weaver, et al. 2007 taps into the attitudes and attributes of journalists experiencing this changing media environment. Finally, French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’s conception of the journalistic field, as exemplified by Bourdieu 1998 and Benson and Neveu 2005, promises to reinvigorate the question of how journalism operates alongside other powerful and influential fields.

                                                                                • Benson, Rodney, and Erik Neveu, eds. 2005. Bourdieu and the journalistic field. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  This volume offers an extension of Bourdieu 1998 through excellent introductions from both the volume’s authors and Bourdieu himself. These chapters clearly explain the relevance of field theory for journalism studies. Additionally, subsequent chapters employ empirical studies of news to demonstrate the usefulness of conceptualizing journalism as a field.

                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                  • Bourdieu, Pierre. 1998. On television. Translated by Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson. New York: New Press.

                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    In this slim book, Bourdieu situates television journalism as a field—“a structured social space” (p. 40)—that transforms political discourse through its lens. He then unearths the structures underlying this field, and its relations to the economic and political fields. This book is a valuable introduction to Bourdieu’s work.

                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                    • Breed, Warren. 1955. Social control in the newsroom: A functional analysis. Social Forces 33:326–335.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.2307/2573002Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      Influenced by functional sociology, Breed shows how reporters are assimilated in the newsroom without explicit guidance. Policy is learned mostly through action and conformity has its advantages, including job retention, fitting in, and hastening mobility within the news organization. However, Breed omits the role of conflict in news organizations.

                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                      • Galtung, Johan, and Mari Ruge. 1965. The structure of foreign news. Journal of Peace Research 2:64–90.

                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        This seminal article probes patterned decisions concerning what constitutes news. Newsworthiness is not inherent in an event but is instead determined through its correlation with standard criteria, including culturally specific dimensions. These criteria drive story selection as well as shape stories based on the accentuation of certain factors that make them newsworthy.

                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                        • McNair, Brian. 1998. The sociology of journalism. London: Arnold.

                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          With its focus on a sociological view, the book provides an introduction to the diverse—and often interrelated—“factors of journalistic production” (p. 163) that shape the news stories received by the public. Chapter 8 provides a helpful discussion of strategies used by both elite and non-elite news sources.

                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                          • Soloski, John. 1989. News reporting and professionalism: Some constraints on the reporting of the news. Media, Culture & Society 11:207–228.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1177/016344389011002005Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            Using the participant observation method to monitor how control is exercised in newsrooms, Soloski argues that an adherence to journalistic professionalism alleviates the need for managers to implement rules controlling individual behavior. Rather, the enforcement of acceptable practices and topics is more deeply embedded in core understandings of news.

                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                            • Weaver, David H., Randal A. Beam, Bonnie J. Brownlee, Paul S. Voakes, and G. Cleveland Wilhoit. The American journalist in the 21st century: U.S. news people at the dawn of a new millennium. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. 2007.

                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              This is the third installment in a series of large surveys of American journalists conducted by the authors since the 1980s. The book tracks journalists’ response to questions regarding their backgrounds, working conditions, use of technologies, ethical values, and perceptions of quality in a time of technological change.

                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                              • White, David M. 1950. The gate keeper: A case study in the selection of news. Journalism Quarterly 27.3: 383–390.

                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                White’s classic article on gatekeeping shows the determinants behind the selection of wire copy at a small Midwestern newspaper. The selection of news occurs according to the particular view of the wire editor, who employs an individualized sense of newsworthiness. The editor’s particularities, not some innate news sense, determine selection.

                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                News and Objectivity

                                                                                                At an ideal level, journalists present their work as truthful accounts of reality. Such a view requires an adherence to objectivity as the overriding normative framework through which journalists seek to remove themselves from the stories they tell. In an ideal sense, the objective journalist is detached and value-free, relying on evidence from others to tell its stories. As theories of constructionism and critiques of positivism have taken hold across the social sciences, critiques of journalistic claims of objectivity have mounted. Tuchman 1972 and Molotch and Lester 1974 viewed objectivity as strategically useful for journalistic organizations. This critique gained depth through historical work in Schudson 1978 and Schiller 1981, showing how the rise of objectivity corresponded with a desire to enhance journalistic professionalism as well as attract a wider range of readers than was possible with partisan newspapers. Other work, especially Hackett 1984, has presented a scathing critique of the shortcomings of objectivity. The essays in Manoff and Schudson 1986 also pick apart simplified arguments for objectivity to show how the ideology journalists possess constrains what understandings of the world may possibly appear in news content. Within this collection, Carey 1986 laments how the dogmatic allegiance with objectivity robs journalism of its interpretive ability, leaving readers to fill in blanks when making judgments. Ettema and Glasser 1998 further complicates the discussion around objectivity in their examination of how investigative journalists balance the norms of their profession with the activism associated with their particular work.

                                                                                                • Carey, James W. 1986. The dark continent of American journalism. In Reading the news. Edited by Robert K. Manoff and Michael Schudson, 146–196. New York: Pantheon.

                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  Carey laments the lack of the “how” and “why” in news stories when journalists offer descriptions of events without an interpretive voice. Explanation is codified as risky because it takes journalists outside comfortable parameters developed under objective journalistic norms. This burden requires readers to seek explanation across stories over time.

                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                  • Ettema, James S., and Theodore L. Glasser. 1998. Custodians of conscience: Investigative journalism and public virtue. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    Investigative journalism presents its own set of challenges to notions of objectivity as journalists wrestle with maintaining an unbiased stance while also upholding the moral order of society. Through in-depth interviews with investigative reporters, the authors present a particularly illuminating discussion of journalistic objectivity.

                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                    • Hackett, Robert. 1984. Decline of a paradigm? Bias and objectivity in news media studies. Critical Studies in Mass Communication 1:229–259.

                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1080/15295038409360036Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      Instead of a technical problem solved by better adherence to method, Hackett approaches bias epistemologically and notes its invariable presence in any mediated representation. Journalists merely naturalize their ideology by claiming to be nonideological. He proposes replacing bias with “structured orientation” (p. 254) to compel examinations of processes producing news.

                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                      • Manoff, Robert Karl, and Michael Schudson, eds. 1986. Reading the news. New York: Pantheon.

                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        The authors in this collection turn the journalistic staples of who, what, when, where, why, and how around to probe the interpretive assumptions and patterns underlying supposedly objective news reports. These excellent essays convincingly demonstrate how news stories are shaped by inescapable political, economical and cultural constraints.

                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                        • Molotch, Harvey, and Marilyn Lester. 1974. News as purposive behavior. American Sociological Review 39.6: 101–112.

                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          This essay challenges journalism’s claims of objectivity, arguing instead that news is structured in a way that serves the organizational needs of journalists. They divide news along a divide of planned/unplanned and by who promotes the stories as news and find the majority of news comes through routine channels.

                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                          • Schiller, Dan. 1981. Objectivity and the news: The public and the rise of commercial journalism. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.

                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            This historical study of the rise of objectivity as “the invisible frame” underlying contemporary news work traces the rise of objectivity to the Penny Press of the mid-1800s. As a new popular readership arose due to increases in literacy and less expensive printing costs, newspapers assumed a neutral stance.

                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                            • Schudson, Michael. 1978. Discovering the news: A social history of American newspapers. New York: Basic Books.

                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              Schudson shows how journalistic objectivity is a naturalized concept that emerged out of the particular economic and social context of the 19th century. From these antecedents, the normative separation of “facts” and “values” occurred after World War I as objectivity became the preferred method for processing the news.

                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                              • Tuchman, Gaye. 1972. Objectivity as strategic ritual: An examination of newsmen’s notions of objectivity. American Journal of Sociology 77.4: 660–679.

                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1086/225193Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                For journalists, objectivity is a protective device. Tuchman examines how objectivity is manifested in three areas: news story forms, including the devices of news writing, news content, and interorganizational relationships. With news judgment, objectivity is used to justify selection criteria; it functions as “an inherently defensive stance” (p. 670).

                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                Journalists and Sources

                                                                                                                The adherence to objectivity spills over into the relationships journalists form with their sources. As an evidentiary strategy, journalists attribute information and assertions to sources, often through direct quotation. As Sigal 1973 and subsequent studies have shown, journalists develop a pattern of primarily relying on elite sources arrived at through conventional means. This results in a hierarchy in which certain sources gain regular access to news while others find it difficult to get their voice across. Such patterns bestow regular sources with the power to define and interpret news events, a common claim in studies of journalism and ideology. Further research into sources (Hallin 1986, Bennett 1990, Ericson, et al. 1989, Schlesinger 1990) shows this process to be complicated and contested, especially when elites contend for control over news narratives. Schlesinger and Tumber 1994 provides an extended study showing the complicated relations both between journalists and sources and among competing sources. After a period of relative dormancy, works such as Cottle 2000 and Reich 2009 have raised new questions and offered new perspectives on the topic.

                                                                                                                • Bennett, W. Lance. 1990. Toward a theory of press-state relations in the United States. Journal of Communication 40:103–125.

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.1990.tb02265.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  In this explication of the indexing hypothesis, Bennett argues the extent of consensus or dissensus among news sources on a given topic depends upon the level of consensus among elite news sources. A diversity of viewpoints in news stories on such issues as abortion occur only because elites openly disagree.

                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                  • Cottle, Simon. 2000. Rethinking news access. Journalism Studies 1.3: 427–448.

                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/14616700050081768Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    This comprehensive review of scholarship on news sources examines research as primarily sociological or cultural. Sociologically based studies examine the interaction between journalists and their sources with a concern over social power, while culturally based studies concentrate on the symbolic dimension. Cottle ultimately promotes new directions for research on sources extending beyond these approaches.

                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                    • Ericson, Richard V., Patricia M. Baranek, and Janet B. L. Chan. 1989. Negotiating control: A study of news sources. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press.

                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      The authors take up the question of source-journalist interactions through an emphasis on sources. By focusing primarily on the courts, police, and legislature, this study contrasts the strategies sources use to influence news coverage with the ultimate power journalists wield with their news stories.

                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                      • Hallin, Daniel. 1986. The “uncensored war”: The media and Vietnam. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        This book challenges an image of Vietnam War reporting as a triumph of press independence. Instead, only dissent among government officials led to more critical reporting. Generalizing this dynamic, Hallin shows how journalistic standards differ according to whether a story fits into the sphere of consent, legitimate controversy, or deviance.

                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                        • Reich, Zvi. 2009. Sourcing the news: Key issues in journalism-- An innovative study of the Israeli press. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton.

                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          One problem with studying news sources is the difficulty of reading journalist-source relationships from news texts. Reich usefully avoids this by asking Israeli newspaper journalists to reconstruct their sourcing on specific stories. These reconstruction interviews reveal much about journalistic conceptions of source legitimacy and the generation of story ideas.

                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                          • Schlesinger, Philip. 1990. Rethinking the sociology of journalism: Source strategies and the limits of media-centrism. In Public Communication. Edited by Marjorie Ferguson, 61–83. London: SAGE.

                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            Schlesinger critiques the “primary definers” approach (Hall, et al. 1978) as media-centric and too totalizing. He advocates for more attention to how news sources actively work to define news content as well as struggle among themselves. This productive emphasis on competition is more fully explored in Schlesinger and Tumber 1994.

                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                            • Schlesinger, Philip, and Howard Tumber. 1994. Reporting crime: The media politics of criminal justice. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              Continuing the arguments of Schlesinger 1990, this study uses criminal justice reporting to highlight competitive dynamics among sources and between sources and journalists. It treats the contestation at the heart of news sourcing as an object of inquiry. While the news is often deferential to officials, this is not predetermined.

                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                              • Sigal, Leon V. 1973. Reporters and officials: The organization and politics of newsmaking. Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath.

                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                In a comprehensive content analysis of several decades of the New York Times and Washington Post, Sigal demonstrates journalists’ overwhelming reliance on routine channels for gathering national and international news. This corresponds to a heavy reliance on government officials for news and less use for informal connections or enterprise reporting.

                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                Newsroom Ethnographies

                                                                                                                                Newsrooms are closed social spaces where the news gets made before its distribution in its final form to audiences. What happens there has long been of interest to journalism researchers, particularly those scholars taking a sociological view. Newsroom ethnographies, in which researchers are allowed into the newsroom for extended observation and interviews, flourished as a form during the 1970s starting with the work of Tunstall 1971 in the United Kingdom. These classic works show the news is not accidental or a mirror of externally occurring events, but a space of routinized interactions. Much of this work has been critical of claims of objectivity, such as Epstein 1973, Schlesinger 1978, and Tuchman 1978. Gans 1979 offers a particularly interesting account of newsroom organizational structures and relationships with sources. Fishman 1980 adopts a more critical tone by connecting organizational structures to larger negative patterns privileging societal elites. While the classic studies recounted in this section have remained quite influential in journalism research and continue to be cited frequently, ethnographic research on journalism waned considerably after the early 1980s. However, the growth of journalism research around the world has spawned a new generation of ethnographic work outside the United Kingdom and the United States, as can be seen in Hasty 2005 and Bird 2009.

                                                                                                                                • Bird, S. Elizabeth, ed. 2009. The anthropology of news and journalism: Global perspectives. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  With its central focus on “news as a form of cultural meaning making,” (p. 1) the authors in this volume employ an anthropological perspective to demonstrate global differences and similarities in news work. In so doing, the chapters provide empirical evidence that journalism operates differently in different cultures.

                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                  • Epstein, Edward J. 1973. News from nowhere: Television and the news. New York: Random House.

                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    This early newsroom study demystifies network television news as an objective relay of reality by examining how underlying structures shaped and constrained reportage at a time when the network news was perceived as possessing immense political power in the United States. Epstein dismisses journalists’ own metaphor of news as a mirror.

                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                    • Fishman, Mark. 1980. Manufacturing the news. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press.

                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      Using participant observation to understand the conditions of news production, Fishman suggests the existence of “bureaucratic affinity” wherein journalists rely on outside bureaucracies to produce accounts for them. As a result, the news assumes the logic of these bureaucracies and presents their views to readers as legitimate and credible.

                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                      • Gans, Herbert J. 1979. Deciding what’s news: A study of CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Newsweek, and Time. New York: Vintage Books.

                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        In this newsroom ethnography, Gans focuses not only on news routines, but the values of journalists that undermine normative attempts at objectivity. Gans debunks efforts by journalists to deny the presence of ideology in news, instead demonstrating a particular ideology among the magazine and network television news journalists he studied.

                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                        • Hasty, Jennifer. 2005. The press and political culture in Ghana. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                          Breaking from the body of Anglo-centric ethnographic research on news, Hasty provides a nuanced study of journalism practices in Africa. This book explores how Ghanaian journalists negotiate tensions between the political system, local culture, and global understandings of news at both state-run and privately owned print news organizations.

                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                          • Schlesinger, Philip. 1978. Putting reality together: BBC News. London: Constable.

                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            A classic study of the news practices at the BBC reveals the limits to the claims of objectivity that normatively undergird the work of British television journalists. Schlesinger demonstrates how various factors constrain how the news gets made, such as the need to control time.

                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                            • Tuchman, Gaye. 1978. Making news: A study in the construction of reality. New York: Free Press.

                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              Tuchman treats news as a social construction in which information gets processed according to institutional, organizational, and professional practices. Journalists deploy a “news net”—a shared view of newsworthiness that sweeps up and validates some topics or stories as attention-worthy, while letting slip through others deemed insufficiently important.

                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                              • Tunstall, Jeremy. 1971. Journalists at work: Specialist correspondents—their news organizations, news sources, and competitor-colleagues. Beverley Hills, CA: SAGE.

                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                In this influential study, Tunstall uses a sociological framework to analyze the work patterns of newspaper journalists in the United Kingdom. Through observation, he tracks the pattern of interactions among these journalists, including relations with sources, in the process of making news.

                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                Comparative News Studies

                                                                                                                                                Research on journalism largely tends toward the national rather than international as scholars seek to understand the cultural and political contexts of news production and consumption. However, the realities of globalization require a greater emphasis on how news and ideas about news so easily crisscross borders. Research on globalization tends to focus on three interrelated areas. At a macro level, studies of news systems (Merrill 1991, Hallin and Mancini 2004, Hachten and Scotton 2006) stress how local contexts shape news production. More specifically, Weaver 1998 examines the roles and attitudes of journalists around the world through surveys. Finally, comparative studies also examine news texts and their impact. For example, Shoemaker and Cohen 2006 shows the continuity in ideas of newsworthiness, Robinson 2002 demonstrates the impact of foreign news on diplomacy, Seib 2008 tracks the rise of non-Western news services, and Karim 2003 questions the power of Western news norms.

                                                                                                                                                • Hachten, William, and James Scotton. 2006. The world news prism: Global information in a satellite age. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  This thorough, and frequently updated, survey of global journalism weds an interest in technological change with political structures around the world to offer a comprehensive look at international news trends. It is accessibly written.

                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                  • Hallin, Daniel C., and Paolo Mancini. 2004. Comparing media systems: Three models of media and politics. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511790867Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    This is an excellent study of how the relationship between political, cultural, and media systems impact news. Hallin and Mancini divide Europe and the United States according to three models: the polarized pluralist mode in the south, democratic corporatist in the center and north, and liberal model bordering the Atlantic.

                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                    • Karim, Karim H. 2003. Islamic peril: Media and global violence. Montreal: Black Rose.

                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      Western-style journalism casts a hegemonic net over the journalistic terrain of the rest of the world, particularly through the development of powerful global news brands. These outlets consider their work as reflection without regard for the cultural aspects of their work, which draws attention away from their ideological power.

                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                      • Merrill, John C., ed. 1991. Global journalism: Survey of international communication. 2d ed. New York: Longman.

                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        The first section of this collection provides an overview of how it is we may understand the global flow of news while appreciating the diversity of journalistic cultures around the world. In the second section, authors summarize news systems around the world, covering every continent.

                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                        • Robinson, Piers. 2002. The CNN effect: The myth of news, foreign policy, and intervention. London: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          The “CNN effect” describes the influence that a constant stream of mediated images of distant suffering has on interventionalist state policies. This book explores how it is that media representation has an impact on governmental action and what these means for the relationship between journalism and the state.

                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                          • Seib, Philip. 2008. The Al Jazeera effect: How the new global media are reshaping world politics. Washington, DC: Potomac.

                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            This book shifts attention from how Western media cover the world to the influence of a new crop of non-Western media embodied by the Middle Eastern satellite news network Al Jazeera. Understanding international politics requires an assessment of how these burgeoning news outlets create communities across borders.

                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                            • Shoemaker, Pamela A., and Akiba A. Cohen. 2006. News around the world: Content, practitioners, and the public. New York: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              This international study of news content finds that despite cultural differences, conceptions of newsworthiness tend to be rather similar. The authors examine thousands of news stories in a diverse set of ten nations on six continents.

                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                              • Weaver, David H., ed. 1998. The global journalist: News people around the world. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton.

                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                This edited collection connected to the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) contains twenty-one chapters summarizing surveys of over twenty thousand journalists around the world. In the conclusion, Weaver looks across nations for similarities and differences.

                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                Journalistic Formats

                                                                                                                                                                Much of the research on journalism automatically gravitates toward what may be called “mainstream” news, normally marked by obedience to objectivity and often (but not always) created by for-profit companies. However, this far from describes the totality of journalistic formats available to the public. The authors in this section investigate alternatives to mainstream news, usually spawned in reaction to its perceived shortcomings. Janowitz 1975 portrayed a move to advocacy journalism in the 1960s in this view, as did Pauly 1990 for literary journalism. Waisbord 2009 updates this work by examining advocacy journalism in an international context. The 1990s witnessed the rise—and fall—of public journalism in a bid to reduce the one-way flow of information from detached journalists to their news audiences. Merritt 1995, Glasser 1999, Rosen 1999, and Haas 2007 all confront the public journalism movement, both in its theoretical promises and its mixed existence in practice. This remains an important body of work for critiquing the news. Finally, Atton and Hamilton 2008 provides an excellent overview of alternative journalism that serves as an introduction to newcomers. Given the quickly changing world journalists work in and the ability of nonjournalists to create their own news, the environment for non-traditional news formats is ripe.

                                                                                                                                                                • Atton, Chris, and James F. Hamilton. 2008. Alternative Journalism. Los Angeles: SAGE.

                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  This primer usefully maps the field of alternative journalism in its many varieties and media. Particular attention is paid to how new technologies have enlarged the space occupied by different types of news voices. Beyond being descriptive, the book outlines the critique of dominant journalistic practices embedded in alternative forms.

                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                  • Glasser, Theodore Lewis, ed. 1999. The idea of public journalism. New York: Guilford.

                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    As the word “idea” in the title indicates, this collection probes public journalism from a more theoretical and contextual angle. The authors raise important questions about news performance and the role of journalism in democracy as well as roadblocks to reform.

                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                    • Haas, Tanni. 2007. The pursuit of public journalism: Theory, practice, and criticism. New York: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      More than an obituary for public journalism, Haas constructs a coherent philosophical foundation rooted in democratic normative theory to reinvigorate the movement. This book includes a comprehensive bibliography of scholarly work on public journalism while also reviewing its successes and addressing its critics.

                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                      • Janowitz, Morris. 1975. Professional models in journalism: The gatekeeper and the advocate. Journalism Quarterly 52.4: 618–626, 662.

                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        The author distinguishes between two modes of journalism—gatakeeping and advocacy. Gatekeeping journalism is marked by norms of objectivity. However, news failures in the 1950s and 1960s created interest in the advocacy mode in which journalists make news stories meaningful through occupying a particular, articulated position.

                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                        • Merritt, Davis. 1995. Public journalism and public life: Why telling the news is not enough. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          Merritt traces the inadequacies of the traditional news media, criticizing journalists as too detached from their communities. This has resulted in the decline of trust in journalism as news audiences came to view it as too removed from their everyday lives. Merritt promotes public journalism to reconnect audiences and journalists.

                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                          • Pauly, John J. 1990. The politics of New Journalism. In Literary journalism in the twentieth century. Edited by Norman Sims, 110–129. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            Unlike traditional journalism, New Journalism is not concerned with upholding consensus. Rather, it seeks to create a public discourse in which to engage the public as an active participant. It fundamentally challenges the fact/fiction divide, using the style of fiction or diaries to explore events and issues.

                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                            • Rosen, Jay. 1999. What are journalists for? New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              The probing title of this book strikes at the heart of deep-seated questions plaguing journalism in the midst of declining audiences and public opinion. Rosen recounts how public journalism responded to this environment, details some early attempts at implementation, and tracks how critics worked to undermine the project.

                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                              • Waisbord, Silvio. 2009. Advocacy journalism in a global context. In The Handbook of Journalism Studies. Edited by Karin Wahl-Jorgensen and Thomas Hanitzsch, 371–385. New York: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                Waisbord admirably surveys both the historical and contemporary forms of advocacy journalism with a particular eye toward its deployment in the Global South. A difference is made between journalistic advocacy and civic advocacy in which underrepresented groups view the news media as vehicles for political action.

                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                Technology

                                                                                                                                                                                All journalism involves technology in gathering, making, and distributing news, yet the role of technology in news has not been adequately emphasized. Dooley 2007 traces the close ties between technology and the news without favoring one as driving the other. Rather, what emerges is the complexity of new technologies. The rise of digital networked technology at the end of the 20th century has sparked new interest in the question of technology. Pavlik 2001 offered an early portrait of how news has changed. Many studies, including Cottle and Ashton 1999, Singer 2003, Boczkowski 2004, and Deuze 2007, have examined how journalists confront new tensions stemming from an array of newly available technologies. As new opportunities have arisen, so have challenges to conventional newsmaking practices and journalistic norms. Elliot 2010 puts this in perspective by recalling the larger development of online computing. Technology has also enabled nonjournalists to enter into the mediated public sphere. Perlmutter 2008 tracks how this technology has allowed for a new arena of non- or quasi-journalists to circulate and comment on information about events. That technologies have altered the boundaries of what is news and made it more difficulty to bracket off journalism from the rest of society has led to a greater interest in the role of technology in journalism.

                                                                                                                                                                                • Boczkowski, Pablo. 2004. Digitizing the news: Innovation in online newspapers. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  In the 1980s, newspapers began confronting digital delivery platforms while clinging to print as their core product and identity. Beyond simply seeing the technology as the agent of change, this study demonstrates how varying conceptions of digital media capabilities and the role of the audience produced different types of innovations.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cottle, Simon, and Mark Ashton. 1999. From BBC Newsroom to BBC Newscentre: On changing technology and journalist practices. Convergence 5.3: 22–43.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                    Through an empirical study tracking the digital transformation of a broadcast news division, the authors demonstrate the complexity and contingency bound up with the adoption of new technologies. Technology is not merely the driving force, but one that is embedded within other powerful organizational and institutional forces.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Deuze, Mark. 2007. Media Work. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      Through interviews with media professionals, Deuze revisits research on newsroom practices with an eye toward how larger cultural and technological shifts alter news work. While encompassing more than journalism, this book proves useful in its careful attention to the working conditions of journalists around the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Dooley, Patricia L. 2007. The technology of journalism: Cultural agents, cultural icons. Evanston, IL: Northwestern Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        Rather than view technological change as endlessly progressive, this book carefully tracks how journalists adopted new technology over time. What emerges is a nuanced view of technology as a cultural force shifting news practices in a variety of ways.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                        • King, Elliot. 2010. Free for all: The Internet’s transformation of journalism. Evanston, IL: Northwestern Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          In order to understand how the Internet has impacted journalism, Elliot locates the rise of online journalism within a larger history chronicling the development of computing technologies. As a result, this study contextualizes technological change within a broader narrative than most examinations of new media and journalism.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Pavlik, John V. 2001. Journalism and new media. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            In this early attempt at a broad view of how new media have transformed news, Pavlik carefully examines the impact on reporting practices, newsrooms, and relationships with audiences. To understand the change wrought by technology, the book explores deeper implications for media ethics, news business models and state regulation.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Perlmutter, David D. 2008. Blogwars. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                              While bloggers trumpet their ability to challenge traditional journalism, this book offers a more measured view of both the blogging community and its relationship to news. At the same time, Perlmutter examines how blogs constitute a new form of public voice with the potential to enhance mediated democracy.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Singer, Jane. 2003. “Who are these guys?” The online challenge to the notion of journalistic professionalism. Journalism 4.2: 139–163.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                Journalists have long relied on professionalism to set themselves apart from others. However, with changes in technology admitting more voices into the mediated public sphere, journalists face a host of new challenges to arguments about their social role and special rights.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                Stories

                                                                                                                                                                                                On a core level, journalists tell their audiences stories about the world they live in. Treating journalists as storytellers requires moving beyond a view of news accounts as born purely from the events being represented. After all, story forms vary over time, as Schudson 1982 shows in his analysis of two centuries of news reporting. Meanwhile, Darton 1975 reminds us that news stories, while not necessarily fiction, are a form of storytelling and should be treated as such, a view also taken up by Bird and Dardenne 1988. Extending this theme, Campbell 1991 and Lule 2001 approach news through the lens of myth. In different ways, Park 1940 and Dayan and Katz 1992 explore how the news goes beyond a transmitter of information to help create common bonds holding groups of people together.

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Bird, S. Elizabeth, and Robert W. Dardenne. 1988. Myth, chronicle, and story: Exploring the narrative qualities of news. In Media, myths and narrative: Television and the press. Edited by James W. Carey, 67–86. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This essay criticizes efforts to bifurcate news as hard/soft. Such views erroneously portray hard news as neutral, often opposing it to narrative news stories rather than recognizing that it is its own narrative form with its own conventions. As a narrative, the hard news story serves an undeniable interpretive role.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Campbell, Richard. 1991. 60 Minutes and the news: A mythology for Middle America. Urbana: Univ. of Illinois Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The perennial success of 60 Minutes, Campbell argues, derives from its break from traditional news narrative styles to embrace storytelling and drama. The reporters become central characters, shepherding middle class audiences through a complex world. This study demonstrates the value of analyzing the news as stories.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Darnton, Robert. 1975. Writing news and telling stories. Daedalus 104.2: 175–194.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Normatively, journalists present each news story as an original narrative dictated by facts that reporters gather for particular stories. Darnton reverses this, showing how journalists possess stock story types that serve as frameworks in which reporters insert facts. This view of narrative redefines journalism from always new to a repetition of the familiar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Dayan, Daniel, and Elihu Katz. 1992. Media events: The live broadcasting of history. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Media events are what the authors label “high holidays of mass communication” (p. 1). They mark a break from the routine through the live coverage of momentous events, attracting a majority of the population to participate, albeit through mediation. As such, they generate solidarity while strengthening hegemony.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Lule, Jack. 2001. Daily news, eternal stories: The mythological role of journalism. New York: Guilford.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                          This book challenges assumptions about news stories by employing mythical archetypes to explain the narrative characteristics of several New York Times stories. Lule attempts to draw attention to commonalities among story types that transcend the specific events being reported and raise questions about the role of myth in cultural self-understanding.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Park, Robert. 1940. News as a form of knowledge. American Journal of Sociology 45:669–686.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1086/218445Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Park differentiates “knowledge about” (systematic, formal knowing) from “acquaintance with” (experiential knowing) and connects each to news. Unlike explanatory narratives of history, the news orients readers and helps form collective meaning around contemporary events. Like others in the Chicago School, Park focuses on how news establishes and maintains community.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Schudson, Michael. 1982. The politics of narrative form. Daedalus 111.4: 97–112.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Schudson traces reporting on the State of the Union addresses from 1790 to show how various conventions of narrative form have developed over time. He shows how the news form is always a construction—a particular narrative strategy for representing events that is not natural to the event at hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Collective Memory and the News

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Journalists use the language of “now” to describe their work; the news is “new” with each edition, journalists chronicle “current” events, the etymological root of journalism is “day.” Yet journalists also are agents of memory, as Zelizer 2008 notes, drawing on the past to make sense of the present. At the same time, journalists use the past to argue for their own authority in the present, whether it be heroic constructions of Watergate (Schudson 1992) and the Kennedy assassination (Zelizer 1992) or the memorialization of deceased colleagues (Carlson 2007). Kitch 2005 shows how journalists regularly celebrate anniversaries in ways that orient the public, while also finding difficulty with memories of social strife (Edy 2006). It becomes clear that journalists work in the past even as they profess to report the present.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Carlson, Matt. 2007. Making memories matter: Journalistic authority and the memorializing discourse around Mary McGrory and David Brinkley. Journalism 8.2: 165–183.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1177/1464884907074804Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The deaths of newspaper columnist Mary McGrory and television anchor David Brinkley touched off efforts by the journalistic community to shape remembrances of deceased colleagues to address ongoing tensions in the present. This study shows how memory is not merely about the past, but becomes useful for negotiating the present.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Edy, Jill. A. 2006. Troubled pasts: News and the collective memory of social unrest. Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rather than focusing on felicitous commemorations, Edy shows the complexity surrounding memories of social strife. Through case studies of the 1965 Watts riots and the 1968 Democratic convention, the book tracks how newspapers have remembered these two events and used them to make sense of unrest in the present.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Kitch, Carolyn. 2005. Pages from the past: History and memory in American magazines. Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Caroline Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kitch connects magazines with the maintenance and circulation of memory. Through retrospectives and anniversaries, magazines routinely package the past and make it meaningful for audiences in the present, acting as “social commentators on American life” (p. 11).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Schudson, Michael. 1992. Watergate in American memory: How we remember, forget and reconstruct the past. New York: Basic Books.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Two decades after the Watergate break-in that led to President Nixon’s resignation, Schudson uses the lens of collective memory to examine the Watergate story over time. This study shows how journalists regularly inflated their role in uncovering the scandal by turning it into a myth in support of journalistic authority.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Zelizer, Barbie. 1992. Covering the body: The Kennedy assassination, the media, and the shaping of collective memory. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Collective memory sheds light on how journalists occupy their privileged position as society’s factual storytellers. In this vein, Zelizer examines how journalists constructed a particular collective memory around the Kennedy assassination that promoted their position not only as retellers of the assassination, but as key components of the assassination narrative.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Zelizer, Barbie. 2008. Why memory’s work on journalism does not reflect journalism’s work on memory. Memory Studies 1.1: 79–87.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1177/1750698007083891Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          While journalists locate their work very much in the present, this article shows the ways in which journalists act as agents of memory work. In explaining events to readers, journalists both turn to and construct public memory.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Journalistic Discourse

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Considerations of news as a form of discourse have yielded new perspectives on journalism. Early on, scholars such as John Hartley drew on work from to examine how news stories are put together, as well as what alternatives might look like (Hartley 1982). The late 1980s and early 1990s saw a wave of new work introducing linguistics into the study of journalism. By introducing discourse as an operative term for describing news, van Dijk 1988 shows the importance of examining both text and context. Bell 1991 and Scannell 1991 stress the specificity of news language and its relation to journalistic authority while Fowler 1991, Fairclough 1995, and Richardson 2007 adopt a critical view. Clayman and Heritage 2002 points the way to new directions in understanding journalistic styles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Bell, Allan. 1991. The language of news media. Oxford: Blackwell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This book treats news language as a particular type of discourse in which journalists tell stories to their audiences. Using a linguistics approach, Bell dissects how news language works and how journalists utilize it in tying to provide authoritative accounts of reality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Clayman, Steven and John Heritage. 2002. The news interview: Journalists and public figures on the air. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511613623Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Through close attention to actual transcripts, the authors dissect the news interview. This book offers a careful rendering of interactions between journalists and sources that seem normal in everyday news texts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Fairclough, Norman. 1995. Media discourse. London: Arnold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Drawing on his “critical discourse analysis” approach, Fairclough analyzes how power is reproduced within news texts in a variety of media. This work is useful for considering how to analyze news texts.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Fowler, Roger. 1991. Language in the news: Discourse and ideology in the press. London: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Fowler adopts a critical tone connecting journalistic style with ideological power. While journalists present their work as purely factual, it is actually the product of particular practices that shape an image of reality in predictable—and often detrimental—ways.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Hartley, John. 1982. Understanding news. New York: Methuen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This book provides a careful explanation and application of semiotics to visual and verbal aspects of news. Hartley delivers a lucid primer on how to “read” the sign systems of a news story and shows how these relate to deeper questions of ideology and power.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Richardson, John E. 2007. Analysing newspapers: An approach from critical discourse analysis. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This clearly written text applies critical discourse analysis to newspaper texts in order to demonstrate how newspaper language works along with its social impact. It provides a useful primer on central concepts in apprehending discourse as well as detailed case studies on letters to the editor and war reporting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Scannell, Paddy, ed. 1991. Broadcast talk. London: SAGE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Broadcast talk, as the authors in this volume attest, is a particular type of discourse that is at once informal and intimate while also made to be a one-way conversation flowing out to large, atomized audiences. The authors look at how such talk constructs the audience and creates authority.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • van Dijk, Teun Adrianus. 1988. News as discourse. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          This book presents discourse analysis as an interdisciplinary enterprise drawing from across the academy to inform a treatment of news as discourse. It stresses the analysis of text in context. By focusing on discourse, language is taken into account, as well as the social processes shaping news production and consumption.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          News Images

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          News images should not be treated either as visual equivalents of their verbal counterparts or as objective snippets of captured reality. As Hall 1973 demonstrates, news images are constructed and contextual. Images also do something differently in relation to emotions, making images of suffering familiar, perhaps overly so as Moeller 1999 and Sontag 2003 discuss. At the same time, Hariman and Lucaites 2007 argues that the emotional capacity of images should not discount their role in shaping public opinion. Images help us understand situations outside our own experience, but there is still widespread confusion as to how exactly all this works, notes Zelizer 2005. Beyond images, Barnhurst 1994 and Barnhurst and Nerone 2001 show how the totality of the newspaper form is itself communicative and part of the strategies by which journalists seek authority. In all, these readings prompt greater attention to the underexplored issue of how news images work.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Barnhurst, Kevin G. 1994. Seeing the newspaper. New York: St. Martin’s.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This study traces the evolution of newspapers’ visual elements over time. Instead of neutral entities, the visual elements of newspapers are shown for their ideological functioning. Breaking from the received history of newspaper layout, Barnhurst connects changes in styles with the social context in which such changes are embedded.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Barnhurst, Kevin G, and John Nerone. 2001. The form of news: A history. New York: Guilford.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              While researchers regularly analyze news as discrete and self-contained, Barnhurst and Nerone track the history of newspaper design over time to show how shifts in size, layout, typeface, and visual elements all correspond to differing ideas of what the news is and what the mission of the newspaper should be.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Hall, Stuart. 1973. The determination of news photographs. In The manufacture of news. Edited by Stanley Cohen and Jock Young, 226–243. Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In this influential essay, Hall dismisses the naturalness of news photographs and instead concentrates on their constructedness. Because of the assumed reality of photos, ideology is reified by being hidden. Yet journalists place images in interpretive contexts, anchoring them linguistically with captions, and thus fixing their meaning in strategic ways.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Hariman, Robert, and John Louis Lucaites. 2007. No caption needed: Iconic photographs, public culture, and liberal democracy. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This study of nine iconic photographs carefully considers how familiar images circulate, transform, and are transformed by the public sphere in meaningful ways. They argue that such images are not superfluous or irrational, but rather enhance democracy through formulating political identity and spurring action.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Moeller, Susan D. 1999. Compassion fatigue: How the media sell disease, famine, war and death. New York: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    “Compassion fatigue” arises with the deluge of news images emanating from across the globe. Rather than inspire a fiery response, the images deaden action though their ubiquity. Moeller blames formulaic journalistic reportage and the reliance on sensational imagery over more involved, complex storytelling as a cause of compassion fatigue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sontag, Susan. 2003. Regarding the pain of others. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Sontag examines the representation of atrocity and suffering through news photographs to gauge its effect on the audience. Atrocity only becomes real by its representation in the news media, but at the same time, in this framework, it only can communicate suffering and therefore loses its ability to prompt action.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Zelizer, Barbie. 2005. Journalism through the camera’s eye. In Journalism: Critical issues. Edited by Stuart Allan, 167–176. Maidenhead, UK: Open Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Despite contemporary journalism’s predilection for images to provide information and tell news stories, no shared understanding of what news photos do and how they work exists. Photographs play an important role in witnessing, granting authenticity to accompanying verbal accounts. Yet, these images are always the result of selection and construction.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Find this resource:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        back to top

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Article

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Up

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Down