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Bridging micro and macro factors

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Andreas Anastasiou

on 2 July 2017

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Transcript of Bridging micro and macro factors

B r i d g i n g
micro and macro factors
in comparative research
on news selection
Andreas Anastasiou
aa463@le.ac.uk
Leicester, 3 July 2017
OVERVIEW
Objective:
to suggest an integrated theoretical and methodological model for investigating news selection
Rationale:
the need for such a model arises from the fact that a lot of research attempts full explanations based on partial accounts
Theoretical framework:
Bourdieu's 'field theory'; a meso-sociological perspective
Methodology:
mixed methods; quantitative survey and qualitative focus groups
Conclusion:
the field perspective offers a better understanding of both individual journalists' behaviour and system dynamics
Journalist | Journalistic Field | Socio-political & media system
Individual journalist
The field of journalism
The field of culture
The field
of economy
The field
of politics
The field of power
The system
Journalists in different countries
follow very
similar technical rules
,
in spite of their
differences
on their perceived degree of autonomy
or on political or ethical grounds
A point illustrating the complementarity of the two methods, is that the focus group discussion offers the opportunity to discuss
what is really considered to be “important news” in the two countries
, so that the
survey findings can be clarified
, explained or further validated.
Non-selection of 'alternative' or 'non-mainstream' news &
reasons of rejection
:

(1) “Too complex for readers to understand and even for journalists to explain”.

(2) “Opinion rather than hard fact, which is to be preferred”.

(3) “It would be irresponsible for such views to circulate”.

(4) “This is an important news item, because oppositional views have to find a way to the press, if we believe in democracy. I would definitely publish it if it were in my hand. But in real life I suggest it as the news of the lowest ranking, and – even as such – I do not know whether the ones above me would accept it”.

What one can observe here is a clear indication of journalists knowing their limits and knowing that they have to resort to a regular self-censorship if they are to abide with the norms of the media they work for.

Also, that it is easy (or expected?) to violate the rules of news values, if it is to prefer a mainstream view as opposed to an alternative one.
(6) “Personally, I would be very much interested in it, but I have in mind the reality of the media outlet I work for. This story would not make it even as a minor one. ‘It is of no interest to anybody’, they would tell me”.

The field reality or collective journalistic culture seems to be much more important, hence the significance of the meso-level analysis proposed.
Comparing individual journalists or single newsrooms could have too narrow a focus, with much attention to detail and missing the greater picture.

Comparing systems could leave many questions unanswered about the collective logic and the unwritten consensus prevailing in journalism.

This
logic
and this
consensus
, observed at the field or
meso-level
, can work as a bridge of understanding and explaining attitudes of individuals in relation to dynamics of grand structures.
The journalistic field is shaped
by forces exercised
from within and outside of it.

But also:

It can apply its own, collective force,
to its individual members
and the systemic structures surrounding it.

T h a n k y o u !
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