Metajournalistic Discourse and the Meanings of Journalism: Definitional Control, Boundary Work, and Legitimation

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Abstract

Situating journalism as a cultural practice charged with delivering valid accounts of the world necessitates a theory of metajournalistic discourse to explain how meanings around journalism develop. Through metajournalistic discourse, various actors inside and outside of journalism compete to construct, reiterate, and even challenge the boundaries of acceptable journalistic practices and the limits of what can or cannot be done. Based on the premises that journalism is variable, reliant on context, and produced through social relationships, this article develops a theory of metajournalistic discourse that connects three components—actors, sites/audiences, and topics—to processes of definition making, boundary work, and legitimation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-368
Number of pages20
JournalCommunication Theory
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Authority
  • Boundary Work
  • Journalism
  • Journalism Theory
  • Legitimacy
  • Metajournalistic Discourse

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