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The Journalist's Predicament

Difficult Choices in a Declining Profession
Columbia University Press
1. Auflage
Erschienen am 30. August 2023
317 Seiten
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978-0-231-55717-7 (ISBN)
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Low pay. Uncertain work prospects. Diminished prestige. Why would anyone still want be a journalist? Drawing on in-depth interviews in France and the United States, Matthew Powers and Sandra Vera-Zambrano explore the ways individuals come to believe that journalism is a worthy pursuit-and how that conviction is managed and sometimes dissolves amid the profession's ongoing upheavals.

For many people, journalism represents a job that is interesting and substantial, with opportunities for expression, a sense of self-fulfillment, and a connection to broader social values. By distilling complex ideas, holding the powerful to account, and revealing hidden realities, journalists play a crucial role in helping audiences make sense of the world. Experiences in the profession, though, are often far more disappointing. Many find themselves doing tasks that bear little relation to what attracted them initially or are frustrated by institutions privileging what sells over what informs. The imbalance between the profession's economic woes and its social importance threatens to erode individuals' beliefs that journalism remains a worthwhile pursuit. Powers and Vera-Zambrano emphasize that, as with many seemingly individual choices, social factors-class, gender, education, and race-shape how journalists make sense of their profession and whether or not they remain in it.

An in-depth story of one profession under pressure, The Journalist's Predicament uncovers tensions that also confront other socially important jobs like teaching, nursing, and caretaking.

New York
De Gruyter
Für Beruf und Forschung
Digitale Ausgabe
978-0-231-55717-7 (9780231557177)
Schweitzer Klassifikation
Newbooks Subjects & Qualifier
DNB DDC Sachgruppen
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BIC 2 Klassifikation
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Matthew Powers is an associate professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he codirects the Center for Journalism, Media, and Democracy. His books include NGOs as Newsmakers: The Changing Landscape of International News (Columbia, 2018).

Sandra Vera-Zambrano is a member of the National Research System and coordinates both the PhD program in communication and La Revista Iberoamericana at Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City.
Introduction: Why Would Anyone Be a Journalist?
1. The Genesis of the Journalist's Predicament
2. Living For-and Maybe Off-Journalism
3. At Their Best
4. Conserve, Challenge, Accede
5. Leaving Journalism
Epilogue: Is Journalism Dying?
Appendix A: Interviewing as Comprehension
Appendix B: Seattle and Toulouse as Regional Media
Appendix C: Tables and Data

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