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  • Journalism Studies’ Systematic Pursuit of Irrelevance : How Research Emphases Sabotage Critiques of Corporate-Run News Media

    Yigal Godler

    Chapter from the book: Pedro-Carañana, J et al. 2018. The Propaganda Model Today: Filtering Perception and Awareness.


    Journalism studies, a subfield within communication research, has for a long time concerned itself with journalists’ beliefs, perceptions and practices, allegedly in order to deepen scholarly understanding of journalism and its societal role. Meanwhile, other scholars have adduced strong evidence in support of the proposition that when business and state interests are at stake, corporate-run news organizations perform a propaganda function, thereby undermining democratic debate and participation. In principle, both research orientations could complement each other, as it is undeniable that some journalists’ beliefs and some journalists’ practices may at times shed light on journalism’s institutional constraints and corporate bent. This chapter argues that the field of Journalism Studies has systematically refrained from subjecting journalism to the kind of analysis that highlights structural power inequalities. This condition has been achieved not so much by outright censorship, but by means of squandering energies and resources on large-scale, data-intensive research projects that painstakingly document journalists’ platitudes, institutionally de-contextualized micro-practices and, on occasion, meaningless new content features. While such projects have produced a steady stream of publications, they have arguably diverted critical attention away from major institutional factors that constrain existing journalism.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Godler, Y. 2018. Journalism Studies’ Systematic Pursuit of Irrelevance : How Research Emphases Sabotage Critiques of Corporate-Run News Media. In: Pedro-Carañana, J et al (eds.), The Propaganda Model Today. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book27.d

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    Published on Oct. 25, 2018