Barbie Zelizer's research while affiliated with University of Pennsylvania and other places

Publications (54)

Article
Full-text available
This article looks to journalism in order to understand the relationship between memory, mind and media more fully. Using the urgency that characterises the current news environment as a reflection of broader information flows, the article considers journalism's embrace of complex time to address the demands of speed. It suggests that the temporal...
Article
This article considers the role of temporality in institutional settings, with particular emphasis on the positioning and impact of temporal choices—or their absence—in journalism. It first discusses why temporality is relevant to institutions like journalism and considers its two interrelated dominant manifestations in the news: nowness and firstn...
Article
This article addresses the relationship between digital technology and journalism, arguing that defining journalism in conjunction with its technology short-circuits a comprehensive picture of journalism. Not only does it obscure the incremental nature and detrimental effects of change in journalism, but it sidelines the recognition of what stays s...
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This article considers the ways in which the media apparatuses of Islamic State and the United States have adopted a Cold War frame for covering each other. In so doing, it demonstrates not only the degree to which U.S. news provides a template for news crafted elsewhere, but also how the past undergirds the present in unknowing and often unpredict...
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This article argues that media events can be fruitfully understood as an exercise in collective memory. It considers how coverage of the so-called war on terror draws from a deep memory of the Cold War. In drawing from that mnemonic scheme, terror’s current representation as an ideological war prosecuted patiently across time assures its seeming su...
Article
This epilogue argues that time matters in journalism’s operation but is not sufficiently considered in its study. It focuses on the temporal expectations associated with the digital environment, highlighting problems with an overemphasis on the present in studies of news production, a lack of temporality in discussions of news engagement, and a fai...
Article
For as long as the modern research university has been around, finding an ordering principle for knowledge acquisition has been one of its key goals. Though the difficulties in ordering knowledge go back to the times of Plato, the modern research university's establishment was expected to resolve them. And yet, centuries later, that ordering princi...
Article
This article considers the coverage of and by Islamic State in conjunction with a mindset established during the Cold War. It illustrates the degree to which U.S. journalism shapes coverage of Islamic State via interpretive tenets from the Cold War era as well as Islamic State’s use of the same tenets in coverage of itself. The article raises quest...
Article
This article considers the role of theory in the development of communication as a field of inquiry. Arguing that the relationship between the parts and whole of the field has not been adequately understood, it suggests that embracing a fuller understanding of communication's singularity might work better for both communication scholars and those s...
Article
This article considers whether thinking about journalism's present set of challenges is best served by the notion of “crisis.” It argues that adopting such a notion to explain a diverse set of technological, political, economic, social, occupational, moral, and legal circumstances misses an opportunity to recognize how contingent and differentiated...
Chapter
Although memory studies has long argued for the importance of a variety of institutional settings engaged in memory work, journalism has not typically been one of them. But a brief revisit to memory studies’ most central work and to the ways in which ideas about memory and journalism have developed alongside each other suggests that memory studies...
Chapter
Since Marcel Proust first noted that the remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were, the question of how memories form has produced multiple answers. So too with the positioning of the platforms by which memory takes shape. Though the recognition of collective memory clearly implicates some notion of instit...
Article
Scholarship on journalism has long privileged a journalistic world that is narrower than that which resides on the ground. Perhaps nowhere is this as much the case as with the placement of democracy in discussions of the news and the role it has played in driving and shaping journalism scholarship. This article argues that democracy has long occupi...
Chapter
We live in an age where, as an issue, ethics seems to be up for grabs, debated as fervently by those outside the community as by those inside. But what is the community that needs to decide on ethical standards? Where do its boundaries lie? And how does one determine what matters, who falls in line, what emerges and by which agenda? The recent scan...
Article
This article discusses the role of journalism in the disciplinary growth of the study of communication. It traces the initial role that journalism played in communication studies' development, considers how it has taken shape differently in some of the discipline's sub-fields of inquiry, and charts how it has developed in different geographic regio...
Chapter
This volume presumes a link between mediation and memory that sets in motion two central questions: what happens to memory in its mediated states and what happens to mediation when it engages with memory? The answer to both questions rests on an underlying misfit between the work of memory and that of mediation, which rears its head in problematic...
Article
Last November, a conference hosted by the Institute of Applied Media Studies in Winterthur, Switzerland, examined the relationships among journalism, scholarship and the public interest. Barbie Zelizer, director of the Annenberg Scholars Program in Culture and Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, lead the discussion sharing insight and...
Article
The world of journalism has always been privileged—for good and bad—by the prisms through which we have recognized its parameters. In acting as more than just the provision of some kind of shared repertoire of public events, journalism can be fruitfully understood by bringing to the forefront of its appropriation the notions of communication, cultu...
Article
This article discusses the symbiotic, though uneven, relationship linking scholarship on journalism and memory. Though work on collective memory has yet to recognize the centrality of journalism as an institution of mnemonic record, memory creeps into journalistic relay so often that it renders journalism's memory work both widespread and multi-fac...
Article
This article tracks the evolution of "eyewitnessing" as a journalistic key word. It argues that three dimensions have helped establish eyewitnessing as a way to understand journalism - the eyewitness as report, eyewitness as role, and eyewitness as technology. These dimensions have functioned as different carriers of meaning about journalism over t...
Article
When a phenomenon is as widespread and as well known as journalism tends to be, it can seem counterintuitive to look for new ways of thinking about it. And yet finding new ways of thinking about journalism is point-center to ensuring journalism’s future. As it faces mounting challenges of a political, technological, economic, cultural, and social n...
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Avaunt this vile abuse of pictured page! Must eyes be all in all, the tongue and ear Nothing? William Wordsworth, Illustrated Books and Newspapers
Article
In this essay I address how photographs function across different realms of popular experience. Tracking assumptions about the use of photographs in religion, art, advertising, law, politics, and journalism, I argue that the easy transportability of the photograph and claims to its indexical force hide its role in blurring the realms that constitut...
Article
Whenever the topic of methodological and disciplinary divides is broached, one presumes a need to place or situate oneself on one side or another, regardless of which terrain is being sectioned. Placement involves selection, identifying with a presumed perspective and marking boundaries. It requires decision-making about identity that divides the r...
Article
This article addresses the formulaic dependence of the news media on images of people facing impending death. Considering one example of this depiction—U.S. journalism’s photographic coverage of the killing of the Taliban by the Northern Alliance during the war on Afghanistan, the article traces its strategic appearance and recycling across the U.S...
Article
This article tracks the uneasy coexistence of journalism and cultural studies, arguing that the tensions between the two fields have worked to mutual disadvantage. The article suggests that rethinking the ways in which journalism and its inquiry might be made a more integral part of cultural studies could constitute a litmus test of sorts for cultu...
Article
For as long as collective memory has been an area of scholarly concern' the precise role of images as its vehicle has been asserted rather than explicated. This essay addresses the role of images in collective memory. Motivated by circumstances in which images' rather than words' emerge as the preferred way to establish and maintain shared knowledg...
Book
Taking Journalism Seriously: News and the Academy argues that scholars have remained too entrenched within their own disciplinary areas resulting in isolated bodies of scholarship. This is the first book to critically survey journalism scholarship in one volume and organize it by disparate fields. The book reviews existing journalism research in su...
Article
This article addresses bias in the American press and shows how the inevitability of reporting from a point of view challenges the possibility of a newspaper of record on the Middle East. Examining 30 days of coverage of the Intifada, it both shows that coverage of events varied across three mainstream US newspapers – The New York Times, The Washin...
Article
This article addresses bias in the American press and shows how the inevitability of reporting from a point of view challenges the possibility of a newspaper of record on the Middle East. Examining 30 days of coverage of the Intifada, it both shows that coverage of events varied across three mainstream US newspapers - The New York Times, The Washin...
Article
The past compels us for what it tells us about the present. It is no wonder, then, that nearly everyone with a voice claims territoriality for it - wide-ranging collectives like nation-states; large-scale interested groups bonded by ethnicity, class and race; professional communities driven by expertise, like historians, filmmakers or journalists....
Article
This article contemplates the journalistic coverage of American espionage as an attempt to maintain consonance with broader cultural discourses about what it means to be an American. Tracking the American press coverage of the Jonathan Pollard spy case, the article demonstrates that the press turns espionage into a phenomenon upholding fundamental...
Article
This essay explores the field of popular communication as an arena worthy of academic attention. Beginning with the assumption that the label popular communication is something of a misnomer, the author argues that the study of popular communication underlies much of what communication scholars do. She then discusses the different domains examined...

Citations

... Time upholds journalism as an account of the present, distinguishing it from other record-keeping systems, and prompts journalists to embrace speed as instrumental for accomplishing work. Although the nod to speed is widely acknowledged as the default setting of modernity (Keightley 2012), it has special resonance for journalists, who easily adopt the practices and qualities fostering it: instantaneity, immediacy, proximity, liveness, novelty, nowness and firstness (Sheller 2015;Ananny 2018;Usher 2018;Zelizer 2021). Even activities that in the past were not associated with speed are now judged by how nimbly they can unfold. ...
... Where Zelizer (2005) reveals that; media instructors, journalists, and journalism researchers all approach the subject from different perspectives. Efforts that come with defining journalism are in accordance with the world wherein people come from, media, technologies and the nature of work subject to reference. ...
... 343). Zelizer (2019) uses an architectural metaphor to define digital journalism: digital journalism is a new exterior form of journalistic architecture but built on old proven staples. So while digital journalism may represent "hypnotic bridges, green power plants and rotating towers" the reality is that this journalism is built in the same manner as the architecture that preceded "plumbing, lighting, roofing, support beams" (p. ...
... For its 20th Anniversary Special Issue, Journalism asked some of the world's leading communication scholars to identify the biggest challenge facing journalism today (Tumber and Zelizer, 2019). Unsurprisingly, several scholars centered their responses around deteriorating public trust in the institution of professional journalism. ...
... In ancestral times, personal experience and communication with kin and conspecifics (Dunbar 1998) provided a summary of existential threat; however, people now rely on the media for this information. In the lead up to the 2016 EU referendum and the US presidential election, there was considerable media coverage of the War in Syria and the terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS) (Satti 2015;Zhang and Hellmueller 2017), and in particular, their propaganda videos utilising the 'about to die' trope (Winkler et al. 2016;Zelizer 2018), which is considered particularly horrific in Western society (Tracy and Massey 2012). The potential for psychological impact from such exposure is demonstrated in various studies evidencing the relationship between news coverage of terrorist attacks and anxiety (Ben-Zur et al. 2012;Shoshani and Slone 2008;Slone 2000), distress (Silver et al. 2002), threat perception (Rubaltelli and Pittarello 2018), reduced trust (Giordano and Lindström 2016), support for military intervention (Soroka et al. 2016;Gadarian 2010), increased respect for authority (Tamborini et al. 2017) and outgroup prejudice (Das et al. 2009). ...
... The Christchurch massacre instantly turned into a hybrid media event , and while terrorist violence seeks media attention (Cui & Rothenbuhler, 2018), newsrooms play a significant role in generating this attention (Valaskivi & Uusitalo, 2020) and in framing and recognising singular moments of violence as exceptional (Nossek, 2008). The formulaic representation of terror utilises established mnemonic schemes, situating these events within a larger temporal flow; these representations of terror contribute to the collective memory of how we understand terror (Zelizer, 2018). At the same time, public solidarity plays a role in co-constructing, negotiating and contesting the collective memory in the making (Giglietto & Lee, 2017;Harju, 2019;Payne, 2016). ...
... For example, Boczkowski (2010), Reich and Godler (2014), and Usher (2014) investigated time challenges and opportunities within journalistic production, but not within the news discourse itself. Zelizer (2018) argued that more journalism scholars should focus on temporality as an in-road to understanding the news, given the degree to which the idea of time distinguished journalism as a mode of public address. Tenenboim-Weinblatt and Neiger (2018) claimed that understanding the temporality of journalism in a changing media landscape would enable researchers to disentangle the complex relationships between the material and textual dimensions of time in news production. ...
... This is important for at least two reasons. First, a comparison of Goldwater and Trump lets us see journalism has not fundamentally changed all that much since the 1960s-a time of major cultural, political and technological upheaval not unlike today-a phenomenon Barbie Zelizer has called "Cold War mindedness" (Zelizer, 2016). Ultimately, both men's love-hate relationship with the media is not indicative of unscrupulous partisan journalists so much as it's a rhetorical tactic-a political means to an end that relies on structural changes to media industries for unchecked dissemination. ...
... When Popular Communication made its debut in 2003 as an independent, but affiliated, journal of the International Communication Association, editors Sharon Mazzarella and Norma Pecora stated in their Editors' Introduction to the first issue that a primary intellectual challenge of the journal was to break free of the productivist bias of the media studies of its time and to inves- tigate the ways in which "communication is 'made popular'" (Zelizer, 2000, p. 312, as cited in Mazzarella & Pecora, 2003. In the process, the editors proposed that the implicit dis- tinctions between popular communication and popular culture could be clarified for exploring culture as communication. ...
... Accordingly, most existing research on collective memories focuses on national collective memories (see Olick and Robbins, 1998;Olick et al., 2011, for reviews) and the analysis of sites of memory embedded in a world of nations (Nora, 1989). Memory researchers commonly approached collective memories as embedded within a given "container-culture" (Erll, 2011b;Zelizer and Tenenboim-Weinblatt, 2014), adhering to the previously held notion that "memory, even cultural memory, is local, egocentric, and specific to a group and its values" (Assmann, 2010: 113). ...