Journalism and Witnessing

Authored by: Mervi Pantti

The Handbook of Journalism Studies

Print publication date:  June  2019
Online publication date:  June  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138052888
eBook ISBN: 9781315167497
Adobe ISBN:


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Changes in media technologies have spurred new practices and forms of witnessing and, accordingly, stimulated research on witnessing in the field of journalism. Witness testimonies offering firsthand evidence about critical situations have multiplied; today, acts of witnessing gain visibility worldwide as they circulate in multiple online forums and media. Witnessing has become one of the primary political acts through which civil society actors attempt to intervene in present global injustices, as well as having become a defining mode of popular understanding of past brutalities (Bradford, 2014; Givoni, 2014; Kurasawa, 2009; Zelizer, 1998). Through the institutionalized practice of witnessing, journalism has played an important role in maintaining its political and cultural significance. Witnessing remains a central practice of journalists, giving meaning to what they do or are expected to do when encountering conditions of oppression and suffering, typically in the contexts of wars, conflicts, and disasters.

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