Comparing Journalism Cultures

Authored by: Thomas Hanitzsch , Wolfgang Donsbach

Handbook of Comparative Communication Research

Print publication date:  April  2012
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415802710
eBook ISBN: 9780203149102
Adobe ISBN: 9781136514241


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The comparative investigation of journalism cultures is an area of study with one of the longest traditions in the larger field of communication and media research. Initiated by McLeod and Rush’s (1969a, 1969b) comparison between Latin American and U.S. journalists, this strand of research touches upon various important domains in journalism studies, including the journalists’ professional orientations, their everyday practices, the content they produce, and the nature and routines of editorial processes. Approaches stretch broadly between historical and empirical, and between societal and psychological. This conceptual and methodological diversity has translated into considerable variance in terminology. On the one hand, there is a substantial body of work relating to the notion of “journalism cultures,” a concept that has been popularized by Zelizer (2000), Donsbach and Patterson (2004), Gurevitch and Blumler (2004), and Hanitzsch (2007), to mention but a few. Other researchers, however, prefer to speak of “news cultures” (Deuze, 2002; Esser, 2008; Preston, 2009), “journalistic paradigms” (Pan & Chan, 2003), or journalism’s “professional” and “occupational cultures” (Golding & Elliott, 1979).

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