Health journalists often use personal stories to put a "face" on a health issue. This research uses a sociology-of-news approach, based on data collected from 42 in-depth interviews and three surveys with health journalists and editors [national (N = 774), state (N = 55), and purposive (N = 180)], to provide a first look at how important journalists think exemplars are to their stories. Results show journalists select exemplars to inform, inspire, and/or sensationalize a health issue. Some of the strategies journalists use to locate exemplars pose ethical concerns. Further, journalists rank the use of exemplars lower in aiding audience understanding compared with the use of experts, data and statistics, and definitions of technical terms.
This article analyzes coverage of the events of September 11 in 20 issues of American newsmagazines published during the month following the attacks, as well as at the end of the year 2001. Drawing on anthropological and narrative theory, it contends that news coverage contained the elements of a funeral ritual, creating a forum for national mourning and playing a central role in civil religion. It further argues that coverage constructed a cohesive story in which vulnerability and fear were replaced by heroism and patriotic pride. This transformation offers evidence that journalists make sense of even "senseless" news events by placing them within a broader, cultural grand narrative of resilience and progress. By the one-month anniversary of the event, "the story of September 11" had emerged--through a process that involved readers as well as journalists--in American news media, providing a set of lessons and offering closure to a national grieving process.
This article re-examines the relationship between the Daily Mirror and popular politics in Britain during the Second World War. It outlines how traditional journalistic and academic analyses have located the period as a high-point of 20th-century radical journalism and political participation in Britain, usually in opposition to a depoliticised and disengaged contemporary news environment. It then re-assesses the Mirror 's place in popular culture during this period to suggest an alternative and more complex interpretation of a paper's relationship with popular politics, political disengagement and participation. This differs from both traditional, largely positive accounts of the Mirror 's relationship with political engagement and revisionist histories that emphasise its negative relationship with wartime "apathy". It explores firstly the predominantly negative role the paper played in the political mobilisation of a disengaged electorate, both in terms of its continued prioritisation of entertainment over "hard news" and its pioneering of new styles of negative and mediated political coverage. Yet it also examines how the paper's coverage advanced a new, more youth-based, consensual and cross-party alternative for an electorate that was politically disengaged but far from apathetic. This more complex interpretation of the paper's relationship with popular politics and political disengagement parallels current developments and debates around these areas.
This article explores to what extent public service news reporting in Sweden has undergone any significant changes during the last decade, when public service broadcasting became exposed to commercial competition. The analysis employs a historical approach that serves to uncover the trajectory of news reporting and journalism from the early days of regular television broadcasting in 1956 until the 1990s. The article aims to resolve some of the complexities and apparent contradictions of the popularization of news in Swedish television, and the analysis addresses changes in news format and news organization as well as the specific aesthetics and discourse that characterize news as a cultural form. The argument advanced is that the empirical evidence lends very little support to the suggestion of a linear and continuous trend from a serious, informative coverage of society towards more lightweight journalism geared to maximize ratings. The long-term development of television news in Sweden can not be understood simply as a trend over time. A more apt way of describing the development is to conceive of it as characterized by three phases: (1) objectivism 195665, (2) critical scrutiny (196685), and (3) popularization (1986the present). Each of these phases has been characterized by specific practices of news selection and modes of representation, connected to systems of journalistic ideals and norms.
Literature on electioneering, political communication and political marketing all suggest that political campaigns are nationally orchestrated, centrally controlled and highly professional; all of which highlight a strong contrast with studies of similar areas thirty years ago. However, evidence based on interviews with current and former MPs and candidates tell a very different story; instead there are strong continuities between the activities pursued during elections in the period 1966-70 and those in the period 1997-2001. There is a greater level of technological support as well as changes in the way the media handle political stories. But the ways that candidates build a profile and gain media coverage are almost identical across this thirty-year period. The key questions this paper poses are: Can we describe political campaigning as a purely centralised activity? Can we describe current electoral candidates as more professional? Is there a clear dichotomy between the activities engaged in thirty years ago and those of the present time?
In 1975, to contextualize its study of the reporting of trade union affairs on UK television news, the Glasgow Media Group analysed the content and presentational techniques of the bulletins transmitted on the three then-available national terrestrial channels.1 In 2001 the news output of the five major channels was sampled to provide a snapshot of contemporary coverage for a preliminary analysis of the significant differences between today's bulletins and those of a quarter of a century ago. UK television news in 2001 reveals that, although bulletin items exhibit the "quality" press characteristic of having generally become longer, some tendencies towards "tabloidization" can be noted. However, the essentials of presentation remain basically the same as they were in 1975.
This article explores developments in theorizing about media transition in Central and Eastern Europe between 1990 and 1999. Although the systematic findings of scholarly research are limited, the discussion below provides an overview of existing analyses and critiques of developments in journalism and media in their legal, economic, political and professional settings in post-communist countries. It is argued that the study of media transitions must embrace the valuable findings deriving from the scholarly tradition of cultural anthropology which greatly illuminate these complex processes. The article concludes that while studies of post-communist societies have "generated an interesting corpus of works and a passionate field for theoretical debates... we have to recognize that nothing essentially has happened in media theory: no new theory, no new concepts, no new patterns emerged from the media's evolution in these countries".
Analysis of press coverage leading up to the 1996 Ontario Public Service strike indicates how framing of the negotiations between the Ontario government and the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union in terms of the dispute over "job security" shifted the critical focus onto the union. The dominant news frame of a prospective strike was articulated through a relatively conventional strike script focusing on the ways a strike would be problematic for the union with regard to public opinion, internal solidarity, and disruptive effects. While the government was portrayed as acting strategically and the union reactively, the dominant narrative explaining the position of both was an economistic one. An alternative, more marginal narrative explaining the government's motivation in political and ideological terms also appeared, but there was no equivalent narrative for the union. By relying on an economistic account, the news coverage acquiesced in the government's attempt to define the situation in its own terms, and thereby became implicated in reproducing the grounds of struggle for hegemonic resonance.
Every war from Crimea to Kosovo has been followed by a post-mortem into the failure of journalism to cover the conflict truthfully and courageously. William Howard Russell, Richard Harding Davis, and most recently Phillip Knightley have in their turn pronounced the profession dead. But these are subjective judgements and while they have some truth they are not always grounded in actual analysis of the evidence. This article looks at British and American television news reporting of NATO's bombing campaign in Serbia and Kosovo. It argues that the quiescent attitude of the NATO media pool in Brussels was not reflected across all sections of the news media and that the presentation of NATO material on news bulletins was in many cases treated with the scepticism expected of the profession. The analysis is based on a sample of British and American television news from 12 to 19 April 1999, and on interviews with a number of journalists present at the briefings and with NATO press secretary, Jamie Shea.
Following the murder of an eight-year-old girl in July 2000, a British newspaper, the News of the World , campaigned to change the law on paedophile crimes. Most of its demands were eventually met. The narrative has four episodes: the initial campaign, popular vigilantism, political response and further debate and action following the murderer's conviction. A moral panic framework is shown to be applicable but ultimately an inadequate explanatory framework, having too rigid a conception of the state, primary definers and the control culture. Supplementary approaches from agenda setting and discourse analysis are needed. The distortion of the issues of child abuse and murder suggests a need for reconceptualisation of moral panics in terms of three dimensions: processes, discourses and normative affirmation.
At the heart of major theoretical approaches to the study of news and its relation to wider society are ideas about the mechanisms and meanings informing the patterns and processes of news access. This article reviews these efforts to theorize news access and notes the influence of two deep-seated paradigms - the sociological and the culturalist - that have helped orientate the research field. Sociological studies of news access approached as strategic action and definitional power help to situate historically and understand the grounded play of power informing the interactions of news producers and news sources, but these tend to under-theorize important processes of cultural mediation at work. Culturalist studies of news help to illuminate how cultural form - whether narrative, myth or ritual - condition and shape the symbolic entry of news actors onto the news stage but, in the absence of empirical work attending to the complexities and contingencies of news production, tend to over-estimate their determining role. This article reviews important theories of news access and reveals the undoubted insights and explanatory limitations of both sociological and culturalist paradigms. It identifies productive areas for future research drawing upon both of these, and concludes by identifying three theoretical levels of cultural mediation that condition and shape the play of strategic action and definitional power and which therefore deserve to be pursued in future empirical research. The cultural landscape of news is fast changing, but questions of news access remain as critical as ever. Only by attending to questions of news access can we understand better the role of the news media in the wider play of social and cultural power.
ABC asked actor Leonardo DiCaprio to interview former President Bill Clinton on the environment as part of an Earth Day special that aired on the network in April 2000. In this textual analysis, I apply Thomas Gieryn's work on professional boundary building and Erving Goffman's theories on front- and back-stage behavior to explore the controversy caused by DiCaprio's interview. Journalists at first criticized ABC News for asking an actor to do a journalist's job. They decried the DiCaprio interview as a further encroachment of entertainment into news. But as coverage progressed, print reporters began to portray experienced broadcast journalists as out of touch--as members of the "old guard". They attacked scholars and other journalists who pointed out the blurring of the news-entertainment boundary. They were made members of what one writer called the "journalism police". Print reporters covering the DiCaprio controversy concluded that broadcast journalism was a lost cause. What followed was a fight over credibility which featured frantic boundary maintenance by all parties. In fact, the three types of credibility contests described by Gieryn--expulsion, expansion, and protection of autonomy--seemed to take place simultaneously. In the end, journalists have gone to the boundary maintenance well once too often; readers and viewers may no longer care.
UNESCO played a pivotal role in supporting many national and regional (print) news agencies in the developing world. This paper considers the rationale for this support and the overall impact of UNESCO interventions. The key problem for all kinds of news agency in and of the developing world, including "alternative" news agencies that were not directly supported by UNESCO, has been to establish a business model sufficiently robust to guarantee longevity. The paper identifies a transition from an older to a newer business model for news agencies that emerged in first world economies and has some potential for the developing world. The new model is certainly one that should contribute to UNESCO's strategic thinking, but it has limitations. Meanwhile, many elements of the "developmental" potential of news agency operations have been assumed by Internet-based services supported by regional, non-governmental agencies and other sources, including other institutions of the United Nations.
This paper examines the world of financial news agencies during the last two decades of the 20th century and concentrates on the struggle for supremacy between Reuters and Bloomberg, asking how a long-established firm such as Reuters allowed the upstart Bloomberg to usurp it as market leader. The recent history of Reuters and Bloomberg is analysed to provide a context for this competitive struggle, examining the agencies' business affairs, management styles and news services. The paper suggests that a sense of arrogance at Reuters, deriving from a period of sustained market leadership, combined with a conservative management style led it to take its eye off the extrovert Bloomberg.
Media can be classified broadly into four historical ages: the ages of newspapers and place, magazines and class, broadcasting and mass, and Internet and space. During the rise of each of these new media, diverse groups strive to gain access to it so they can voice and further their particular agendas. As communication technology develops, however, media tend to evolve from being shared by many receivers to being used primarily on individual levels. As the Internet connects more people globally and provides opportunity for unparalleled diversity in space, it also has the capacity to isolate users who form communities online only with others like themselves. This article examines the historical development of mass media in the US and explores contemporary research directions. Future communication scholars can draw upon past communication theories, but it is argued that the era of mass communication is over. Hence, those theories - and new ones - must be crafted to cross traditional boundaries of scholarly inquiry and thus to more effectively observe and explain modern communication and social system interactions.
While classic market economic theory argues that competition among media is better for consumers, preliminary research in emerging media markets suggests otherwise. High levels of competition in markets with limited advertising revenues may lead to poorer journalistic performance. This study tests that argument using secondary analysis of data from a purposive sample of countries where measures of news media performance and market competition exist. The authors find a curvilinear relationship between competition and the quality of the journalistic product, with moderate competition leading to higher-quality journalism products and higher levels of competition leading to journalistic products that do not serve society well. The implications of the findings for media assistance initiatives are discussed.
In the Western world, the Kyrgyz Republic has been depicted as a democratic success story. Indeed, unlike other Central Asia nation states, the Kyrgyz media appears on the surface relatively free. This paper examines the Kyrgyz press in the context of journalistic ideologies, and suggests that the republic's media is going through an important transitional phase, the central stage of a journalistic rite of passage. Part of that transitional process is an ongoing ideological tug-of-war that awaits resolution. It is suggested that such resolution may occur only when the press becomes economically self-sustaining.
This article challenges what it characterizes as the pervasive pessimism, and narratives of decline, which dominate current scholarly debates on the relationship between journalism and democracy. Drawing on original ESRC-funded research, and examples drawn from recent political news stories such as the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the article presents a more positive evaluation of contemporary political journalism and its contribution to the democratic process, and suggests an argument for the broadening and reinterpretation of normative standards in public communication. This argument is developed from the identification of key economic, technological and communicative trends in the political journalistic environment which, it is argued, change the terms on which traditional normative criteria have been based.
A recent defamation case in Australia demonstrates that when it comes to cases involving the Internet the world is in uncharted territory. This is despite evidence that Internet use is booming, that news forms have changed online, and that reading news is a popular activity on the new media. The Internet challenges our understanding of defamation. Since the Internet crosses national boundaries it is very difficult to determine the jurisdiction of a defamation action. Nations have varying standards of defamation liability, meaning what can be said in one place may not be allowed in another. As most nations are connected to the Net this means there is a threat of a chilling of free speech. The unique form of the Internet also challenges notions of publication. Online material is retrieved rather than broadcast, and hyperlinks add a unique dimension. Ultimately the advent of the Internet has added another layer of confusion to what is already a confusing area of law. This paper argues that it is time for defamation laws to be unified, and for some principles to be developed to this end. Laws should be internationally consistent, publication on the Internet should not be presumed, new frameworks should be adopted to determine publication on the Internet, and new remedies and defences should be considered.
This study compares the newspaper coverage of the murder trials of Theodore Kaczynski (the "Unabomber") and David Copeland (the "Nail bomber"), two similar defendants being tried for similar crimes in two different countries. Both men were found guilty, but the fact that they were diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia became a central element in both trials. One hundred and thirty-three articles from the two countries were compared using a qualitative discourse analysis which found that the dominance of specific narrative frames influenced the structure of the articles. The British coverage privileged the "story of the crime" whereas the US coverage emphasized the "story of the trial". The result was that in the majority of coverage, important contextual information was lost, specifically regarding how mental illness caused these crimes in the first place, as well as how society perceives mentally ill criminals. These results demonstrate the need for more responsible reporting of trials in the hope of encouraging a public dialogue on the relationship between mental illness and criminal justice issues in society.
This paper analyzes the perceptions of journalists in São Paulo, Brazil's main media hub, concerning media roles, ethics and foreign influences on journalism and compares them with perceptions held by American and French journalists. American and French models of journalism have influenced Brazilian journalism at different points in time. The study employs quantitative and qualitative methods to illustrate that Brazilian journalists embrace a particular pluralistic view regarding their role in society and appear to be very tolerant of controversial journalistic practices. While most of them believe they emulate the American model, some critics interviewed for this study suggest that these journalists have developed a caricature of American journalism and lack a clear perspective on how to deal with foreign journalistic influences.
This case study analyses a violent farmers' protest in Brittany in 1998 and its coverage by the French press, especially the local press, which is very influential in western France. The study argues that the structure of the local press can be represented by the metaphor of a Filo pastry with its various levels of local, county (département in France), regional and national news sections, generating an often quite distinctive framing of the same event. The study challenges the widely accepted idea of a structural bias in press coverage against social movements. The proximity of local journalists to the protest and their typically close, sometimes personal knowledge of many of the actors combine to produce a "comprehensive", often friendly coverage of the action, as long as this does not trigger the opposition of powerful challengers in the local arena. Newspaper reporting of this protest also reveals ambiguities concerning the newsworthiness of violence, which triggers both coverage and criticism. The study suggests that local journalists are able to express a "local" public opinion. The virtually "instant" coverage of even the smallest protest actions by local news sections, moreover, challenges the alleged centralising bias reported in many studies of social movements. Based on data from the analysis of national broadsheets, these studies typically consider only the newsworthy, "visible" part of protest events, which are reported more promptly and in greater detail by local newspapers.
Controversy over the construction of new professional sports stadiums has occurred with such regularity that it now amounts to a "ritual", using the definition developed by anthropologist Victor Turner. The process that begins with a team expressing its desire for a new stadium and concludes with the construction of that stadium has all the markings of a "social drama". Playing a key role in this social drama are print journalists working in cities where stadium controversies unfold. Using a case study approach, I explore the social drama of stadium construction in Philadelphia, New York, and New England. News coverage in these markets reveals the four stages of social drama: breach, crisis, redressive action, and reintegration. Team owners manufacture the breach, with the help of government officials who do not want to see franchises move elsewhere. Crisis emerges out of negative reactions to plans for a new stadium. Team and governmental officials then use very public means to try to bring the crisis to an end. Often, they fail in this attempt, and the parties are once again enveloped in crisis. New alliances, often built on cooperation between former opponents, emerge as the parties try to end the crisis. My analysis reveals that journalists in these cities have acted as agents of reintegration. They move from criticizing to endorsing these stadium projects. The narrative that emerges gives the impression that everyone agrees on the need for the new facility, and that construction, though it may be delayed while the parties come together, is inevitable. My findings can help journalists to take a critical look at their coverage of stadium controversies, and to explore the impact of the coverage on their relationship with the communities they serve.
British cartoonists' portrayal of the United States after Watergate was affected by changes in cartooning imagery and style and by various significant features of American politics and society. The outcome was a more critical picture. Causes included a new generation of cartoonists with a sharper critical edge; a greater interest by up-market newspapers in cartoons; and a growing public tolerance of offensive imagery. Cartoonists continued to benefit from readers' familiarity with the imagery of American popular culture and with the office of President. On the American side, controversial domestic and foreign policies, the personal behaviour of particular Presidents, and the reduced mystique of the presidency, all gave more grounds for criticism. British cartoonists tended to over-represent the President at the expense of other political institutions.
Drawing from Shoemaker and Reese's hierarchical model of influences on media content, this paper summarizes content analyses by NewsWatch Canada on different dimensions of potential corporate influence on Canadian newspaper content: (1) the offsetting tendencies of content rationalization and duplication in chain papers; (2) newspaper coverage of their own parent companies, and of the media industry; (3) the influence of newspaper editorial positions on news coverage; (4) some potential impacts of advertising; (5) potential double standards related to politics and social class. While the research is exploratory, there is evidence of systemic corporate influence, particularly on the second, third and fifth dimensions.
This study is primarily a quantitative content analysis of newspaper coverage of Hillary Clinton as she made an unprecedented transition from first lady to Senate candidate. Three hundred forty-two newspaper stories were analyzed to determine whether the press responded to her adoption of politically active roles with a negative tone. Ninety-six stories about former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani were used for comparison, and a qualitative analysis of negative statements appearing in news stories added depth and dimension to the discussion of critical tone. Results find Clinton encountered more negative press coverage as she ventured into her pursuit of elected office.
Maps are an increasingly important element of the news media's coverage of geopolitics and war. To date few comprehensive surveys of journalistic cartography have been undertaken, yet computer graphics and new spatial database technologies are allowing publishers to exploit geographic information more fully and to produce timely and vivid representations of war zones and related matters. This paper draws on the results of a longitudinal survey (1999-2001) of the five UK prestige daily newspapers ("broadsheets") to explore the role of map graphics in geopolitical and security discourse. The paper focuses on two case studies in which paradigm shifts in warfare are intimately bound up with the nature of geopolitics and threat in the post-Cold-War period. The study reveals the instability inherent in cartographic representations despite popular conceptions of maps as objective, mimetic images.
The role of journalism has arguably become more important with the unfolding of the Information Age, and particularly with the changing democratic significance of the mass media in this epoch; but the democratic role of journalism needs to be distinguished from a developmental role. It should also be disentangled from the role of media qua institution. Conceptualizing what a democratic role entails is clarified by identifying four distinct species of democratic journalism. While these remain relevant, their context is dramatically different to what it has been, and it is also very different in both First and Third World countries.
Although investigative reporting is not new to journalism in China, a number of important transformations in the political and media settings have contributed to the tentative institutionalization of a form of watchdog journalism that is both popular with media audiences and instrumental to the Party leadership in the post-Deng era. While media organizations and journalists have commercial and professional imperatives, the central Party leadership has promoted a media watchdog role to reassert control over a dysfunctional bureaucracy and expose elements of bureaucratic capitalism that had become so ruthless that they have threatened the very existence of the state bureaucracy itself. By exposing officially denounced problems, calling individual transgressors to account, and drawing attention to the need for specific reforms, watchdog journalism promises to strengthen the Party"s hegemony by smoothing the rough edges of the ongoing Chinese transformation and policing the political, economic, and social boundaries of an emerging authoritarian market society.
This study adopts an ideological dissonance perspective to examine Chinese journalism within the confines of a dying ideology. Based on data gathered from in-depth interviews, field observations and document analyses from 1995 to 2000, it finds that much of the contradiction and ambiguity in Chinese journalism can be attributed to a struggle to reduce ideological dissonance as well as to the pulling forces of a burgeoning market economy. In this struggle, Chinese journalists adopt one of five modes to cope with the inevitable ideological dissonance: (1) living with dissonance in the public discourse universe; (2) striking a consonance with Communist ideology; (3) consonance in the public discourse universe but independent expression in the private discourse universe; (4) pushing boundaries in public discourse universe while keeping independent expression in the private discourse universe; and (5) radical reduction of dissonance by aligning with a different ideology and expressing deviant ideas in a different public discourse universe.
This article explores the narratives of China Central Television"s Oriental Horizon - a television news magazine show on Chinese television with high audience ratings - through the roles of reporters and their various relationships with the characters in the stories. Using content analysis and interviews, the article examines how Chinese journalists position themselves between the state and the audience in a changing social environment. The author categorizes the patterns of narratives in the programs through three distinctive roles assumed by the reporters: the advocate of state objectives, the voice of the victim and that of social commentator. It seems that by adopting a watchdog role and assuming clear standards of right and wrong, television reporters manage - at least to a certain extent - to provide the audience with a mechanism of accountability in an age of disillusion and ideological crisis in China. By presenting issues as local cases and defining them as moral choices, the programs avoid a critical interrogation of the overall social structure.
Although its influence is somewhat disputed, the CNN factor has become well known as the process by which the media influence foreign policy by evoking responses in their audiences through concentrated and emotionally based coverage, which in turn applies pressure to governments to act in response to a particular conflict. Intense coverage of one conflict, however, comes at the expense of other conflicts, some of which may be a great deal more pressing in nature. It is this "other side" of the CNN factor on which this paper focuses. Included in the study is a comprehensive statistical analysis of the amount of coverage throughout the year 2000 in Le Monde (France), the New York Times (USA), the Yomiuri (Japan) and CNN and BBC world news. The study argues that media agendas do influence a broad range of policy initiatives, and that, by extension, lack of media coverage contributes to lack of policy.
The ethics of journalism is increasingly an area of scholarship, yet the role of journalists as workers is rarely discussed in this context. This paper explores the tensions between journalists' roles as truth-seeking professionals, as employees or factors of production within a marketplace, and as citizens. To this end, the paper traces the role of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the UK, the largest journalists' trade union in the world, in raising concerns about journalistic ethics. Particular attention is paid to the role of the union's Ethics Council at a national level; and the extent to which journalists have acted through their union to engage with ethical issues at a workplace level. The paper explores the impact of the industrial relations climate on journalists' willingness and ability to raise ethical concerns collectively. The paper concludes with the suggestion that the ethics of journalism can only be understood if scholars take into account the conditions under which journalism is practised and produced.
This article examines almost a decade of reporting on public journalism published in the two largest and most widely read US journalism reviews: Columbia Journalism Review and American Journalism Review . It argues that instead of examining its historical underpinnings, theoretical claims, and practical manifestations, these two publications treated public journalism at best as just another manifestation of the increasing profit orientation of news media. At worst, it was scapegoated for the failings of all news organizations, including pandering to local communities and other practices that put immediate market interests ahead of democratic processes. While this description finds little support in the empirical research literature on public journalism, it may reflect mainstream journalists' increasing fears of a corporate colonization of journalism. Critics used the introduction of public journalism into newsrooms as an opportunity to express anxiety about how extra-journalistic (primarily economic) forces are encroaching upon journalists' professional autonomy and undermining the quality of news coverage.
The primary purpose of this study is to explore whether scrutiny of the president in quality US newspapers is related to people's perceptions of the press. It was predicted that two chief factorsin addition to other forcesare contributing to declining press performance ratings: (1) an increase in the number of total stories devoted to the presidency and (2) an increase in the proportion of cynical stories surrounding this office. Data support both propositions to some extent. Finally, the implications of these findings are considered.
The rise of user-generated content (UGC) is often thought to blur further the distinction between (media) producers and (media) consumers. Many media organizations, in particular newspapers, have developed extensive sections of their Web pages based on UGC. But there is still relatively little discussion of the exact relationship between producing and consuming in these sections. What is being produced and what is being consumed? Does the blurring of the producer-consumer represent a real shift in power away from traditional media/news organizations, or is the rise of UGC just a way for newspapers to get content produced “for free”? This article analyses UGC provision in two tabloid newspapers, The Sun (UK) and Aftonbladet (Sweden)—both newspapers generally considered to be very successful in terms of their online presence—by comparing (1) the levels of involvement required by users, (2) the types of content produced, and (3) the modes of production used. The results show that both tabloids are similar in that they provide users with the opportunity to generate mostly popular culture-oriented content and personal/everyday life-oriented content, but little or no opportunity to generate news/information-oriented content.
On the basis of British evidence, this paper addresses the debate about standards in television, particularly the charge of "dumbing down". It makes this address not in terms of changes in television content but rather by focusing on changes in the working and employment conditions of television production employees. It suggests that a mixture of labour-saving strategies and "growth in the job", varying between public and commercial sectors, have "dumbed down" the working environment and employment terms. A narrow focus on broadcast journalists suggests that, in terms of time, team working and training, these workers are now less able to meet their own professional standards than previously, with serious implications for the prospects of achieving "quality" broadcast news in the near future. However, while "dumbed down" working conditions equally describe other television production workers, the implications for the "quality" of non-journalism contents are more difficult to identify. It is suggested that this reflects a surviving consensus on the social and political functions of journalism, in comparison with a relative lack of consensus about non-journalism genres. Further inquiry along these lines is recommended.
This report summarizes major avenues of research about online journalism, defined as journalism activities on and through the Internet and concerned with the use of such journalism products and services. Seven trajectories or tracks of research about online journalism are identified: market analyses, product analyses, user studies, explorations of occupational changes, quality assessments, macro studies and experimental projects. Traditional approaches in the realm of public research are hardly compatible with the fast-evolving new technology. Most important research projects in the field are privately funded, not publicly accessible and tend to be market-driven. Some interesting new projects are on their way, but research about online journalism is only just beginning.
Research studies of political communications at the local or constituency level are scarce. There are few detailed analyses of local newspapers' coverage of the constituency campaign or any systematic account of local journalists' attitudes towards election reporting. This paper seeks to redress this neglect by providing a longitudinal overview and analysis of local newspaper coverage of the local campaign in the 1987, 1992, 1997 and 2001 UK general elections. Drawing on the findings of a unique and extensive analysis of newspapers' election reporting, combined with detailed interviews with journalists, editors, politicians and their agents, the paper argues that while certain aspects of local newspapers' election coverage have declined recently, local journalists' commitments to reporting the election remain strong and coverage continues to be informative and wide ranging: indeed the findings suggest that on some grounds local press reporting of elections compares favourably with national press coverage. But in 2001 three significant changes in local coverage were evident. Reporting was: (1) markedly more locally oriented than in previous elections; (2) notably more disposed towards a "lighter" editorial emphasis preferring to focus on human interest stories about candidates than discussions of policy, and (3) finally, more partisan than previously with newspapers' overall "balance of partisanship" being replaced by a tendency to favour the Conservative Party above Labour - a trend strongly at variance with national newspapers' political sympathies.
This paper offers an overview of the work of the Glasgow Media Group (GMG) from its inception in 1974 to the present, from the standpoint of a participant. Early work was mainly on television news journalism in the United Kingdom. It focused on issues relating to the economy and industrial relations and developed new methods of content analysis using a videotaped database. As the work developed new topics were explored, including issues of war and peace media coverage, representations of AIDS, child sexual abuse, bovine spongiform encephalitis (BSE: "mad cow disease"), mental health, breast cancer and the communication of risk and the reporting of disasters in Africa. With this extension of topics new methods of research have been used to consider source-journalist relations and reception analysis through the use of focus groups. In this way the attempt has been made to achieve a better understanding of the processes which go to make up the circuit of communication.
This paper asks the fundamental question of whether editorial managers and journalists are embracing convergence for business reasons or to do better journalism. Media organizations around the world are adopting various forms of convergence, and along the way embracing a range of business models. Several factors are influencing and driving the adoption of convergence--also known as multiple-platform publishing. Principal among them are the media's desire to reach as wide an audience as possible, consumers who want access to news in a variety of forms and times (news 24-7), and editorial managers' drive to cut costs. The availability of relatively cheap digital technology facilitates the convergence process. Many journalists believe that because that technology makes it relatively easy to convert and distribute any form of content into another, it is possible to produce new forms of storytelling and consequently do better journalism. This paper begins by defining convergence (as much as it is possible to do so) and describing the competing models. It then considers the environments that lead to easy introduction of convergence, followed by the factors that hinder it. Examples of converged media around the world are provided, and suggestions offered on how to introduce convergence. The paper concludes that successful convergence satisfies the twin aims of good journalism and good business practices.
Journalists' professional work routines often place them in disturbing and/or dangerous situations where they must confront their own vulnerability, and especially in the case of war correspondents and news photographers their own mortality. Inevitably they must deal with the psychological impact of the grieving and sometimes even the shock and disorientation of the human subjects of their stories. Ironically, journalists in such situations are often the ones ignored in terms of the emotional impact of what they are witnessing. How do journalists cope in the face of profound human tragedy and personal risk? Drawing on Sigmund Freud's conceptual model concerning the nature and working of the human mental apparatus, and subsequent major contributions by others who elaborated on and expanded the understanding of ego functions, this essay examines successful journalists' mental activities that aid them in coping with stress in the course of their work. The seasoned journalists interviewed offer introspective accounts of their professional experiences, revealing the broad range of conscious choices they make in their work which allow them to function at a high level in maximally challenging situations.
In September 1999, the Portuguese media reported the conflicts in East Timor and engaged in humanitarian propaganda to push for peace in that territory. Demonstrators in the streets of Lisbon believed their actions would be noticed by the world. The reporters in Timor filed copy back to Lisbon replete with highly emotive first-hand accounts. Media organisations and reporters negotiated their professional values in the name of "a good cause": the freedom of the people of East Timor. But as reporting progressed, other narratives emerged in media coverage: the mythology of the lost empire, the journalist-hero and the self-praising attitude of a nation in love with her past and her ability to unite for a "humanitarian cause".
This article proposes a diachronic, empirically founded and qualitative approach to the examination of constructions of a European Public Sphere in Europe's national news media. By focusing on transnational press-reporting of a set of selected Crisis Events in post-war European history (in the period 1956-2006), different discursive representations of “Europe” (and Europe-related normative notions such as, e.g., “European values”) are studied to show the diversity and heterogeneity of their nationally specific perceptions. Similar discursive patterns and commonalities in discourses across Europe are highlighted, as are the evolving ways of (re-)constructing the tension between the transnational and the national, in the specifically European context. Within the latter, Europe changes its role in news-media discourse over time—from being an adversary or source of problems for the nation, to becoming the “bearer” of common values for all (or at least several) European nation-states.
Radical media can be viewed as an extremely democratic form of communication, where people normally denied access to the mainstream media are able to speak on issues that concern them. Radical media are especially important for new social movements, where "activist-journalists" seek to establish a counter-discourse to those typically found in mainstream media. One striking technique employed in radical media is "native reporting", where first-person, activist accounts of events are preferred over more detached commentaries. Most accounts of radical media have treated such practices as unique and defining characteristics of radical media. Little attention has been paid to how these practices might be employed by mainstream media, or indeed to how radical media might borrow practices from the mainstream. This paper moves away from previous binary approaches to explore the relations between radical and mainstream media through a comparative analysis of the coverage of the protests at the G8 summit, held in Genoa in July 2001. The paper argues that borrowings and interdependency are most likely to come from papers that share a similar ideology; hence it compares a member of the UK radical press (SchNEWS) with a member of the liberal press (The Guardian). The analysis is hegemonic, and is particularly interested in how transfers of journalistic techniques, values and ideologies are transformed under differing conditions. Is a counterhegemonic discourse inevitably diluted by the adoption of its primary features in the mainstream press? Is it possible to radicalise mainstream journalistic practices? The analysis focuses on the presence and nature of "witnessing" by activists, the stylistic construction of such witnessing and how such techniques are transformed in the liberal press. It also examines relationships and attitudes between radical and mainstream journalists. The paper finds that whilst there are distinctive journalistic techniques used in each paper, both radical and mainstream adopt elements from each other, whether in writing style or in news values and framing. The counter-discourse of radical media appears to gain strength from its borrowings. It is argued that the liberal press's use of native reporting represents an accommodation with a radical technique. Finally, a hegemonic approach suggests a complexity of relations between radical and mainstream that previous binary models have not been able to identify.
This article explores UK press reporting in the immediate aftermath of the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989 and the shootings at Dunblane Primary School in 1996. Although the circumstances surrounding each tragedy were very different, both resulted in the death and injury of many innocent victims. However, press reporting of Hillsborough added to the burden of grief of the bereaved and survivors through its hostile portrayal of Liverpool football supporters and the clear suggestion of their culpability for events. By contrast, coverage of the Dunblane tragedy was markedly more compassionate in its response to those most directly affected. An explanation of the divergent tone and style of reporting of both these traumatic events involves an examination of the complex interplay between issues relating to the political economy of news production, the role of official discourse, hierarchies of media access and regulatory mechanisms governing the press.
Journalism educations historical origins, intellectual tradition and media constituency have directed the field away from what could be a more lively engagement with the liberal arts, which are accepted in principle at least by academy and industry as a valuable foundation for professional journalism education. Yet students are increasingly disengaged from the democratic process, signaling a crucial need for promoting greater civic engagement. We urge a broader educational commitment to the professionalism of scholarship, as opposed to the more conventional view of media professionalism in the academy increasingly promoted by the media industry. Meanwhile, the academic communication field the prevailing disciplinary identity of journalism has emphasized media effects and audience studies. As universities seek greater external financial support, this research is easily directed toward applied, or administrative, research, leaving broader questions of journalism and democracy up for grabs. Our view of academic professionalism is based on a broader social responsibility, and we are concerned that the educational mission should not be dictated by external agendas. While journalism in some ways occupies an academic no mans land, accepted by neither industry nor more traditional liberal arts disciplines, it can be viewed alternatively as a potentially fruitful academic intersection, providing leadership in educational reform.
This paper explores the salience of gender in the working lives of women journalists. It draws on data from a small-scale postal survey of members of a British network of women journalistsWomen in Journalismconducted in 1999 and suggests that gender is important in the newsroom for some women but not others and that its impact is often felt in negative ways. Journalists pointed to some of the problems associated with working in an industry still dominated by men, such as the low priority given to coverage of "women's" issues and the male-ordered culture which can be hostile to women with family responsibilities. Most of the women surveyed believe that more women in decision-making positions would have a positive impact on developing a more women-friendly news agenda although there were significant ambiguities about the salience of gender in determining a specifically en-gendered journalistic practice.
This article establishes the case for public relations as a critical component of an organizations strategic management processes and of the subsequent strategic management of public relations in an effective organization. The article begins with an elaboration of a theory of the value of strategic management in public relations. Qualitative and quantitative results of the IABC Research Foundations Excellence project, presented next, confirmed the importance of strategic public relations in helping make organizations effective. The involvement of public relations in strategic management consistently was the best predictor of excellent public relations in the 323 organizations studied. Both CEOs and communication managers in organizations with excellent public relations departments believed the function contributes more to organizational effectiveness than did those with less-excellent departments. However, the research also showed that strategic management means different things to different practitioners of the field and that most public relations departments do not practice public relations strategically. Interviewees in effective public relations operations explained the value of their work primarily in building relationships with strategic publics.
In a time of dramatic and rapid change in the global media industry and when technological advances and media concentration are shaping the way news is produced and consumed, little research has focused on how the producers of news are affected by such change. This paper explores narratives of confidence and cynicism as told to me by Australian print news media journalists. I am interested in journalists' memories and experiences of personal change that arise from an intensified workplace and how neoliberal discourses affect newsroom culture. How do the journalists I interview experience and speak of changes in the newsroom? In what ways is being a journalist different now to when they entered the industry? In effect, how have journalists changed as a result of journalism's changes? The interviews with 17 print media journalists contain rich narratives with which to explore how participants remember and make sense of industry changes. This paper finds that the intensification of work practices, ethical constraints and gender bias, underpinned by neoliberalism, have aided in creating a cynicism among many of the journalists interviewed. Nevertheless, the majority of interviewees suggest that a career in journalism has increased their personal and/or professional confidence. There are, however, gendered differences in this experience.