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Argumentation in the Newsroom

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Abstract

The news we see daily is selected from among alternatives by journalists. Argumentation in the Newsroom uses ethnographic data from Swiss television and print newsrooms to shed light on how journalists make decisions regarding the selection and presentation of news items in their daily professional practice. The evidence illustrates that, contrary to the standard view, journalistic decisions are not limited to the influence of standardized production patterns, instinct, or editors’ orders. Rather, in their attempt to produce the best news possible, journalists carefully ponder and discuss their choices, utilizing full-fledged critical discussions at all stages of the newsmaking process. By employing the pragma-dialectical model of a critical discussion in conjunction with the Argumentum Model of Topics, this study provides a detailed reconstruction of how journalists make use of argumentative reasoning, basing their decisions on a complex set of material premises and on recurrent procedural premises.

Subjects: Communication Studies; Discourse studies; Pragmatics

  • Affiliations: 1: Zurich University of Applied Sciences

References

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