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Natural selection: Empiricist discourse in the talk of broadcast journalists

Reardon, Sally


Sally Reardon
Senior Lecturer in Multimedia/Multiplatform Journalism


© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017. Journalists are frequently used as a source of information for those studying news production and practice and as a means of describing the ‘real’ world of news. However, these conversations between researcher and journalist have often largely been treated as a transfer of neutral, transparent information about news practice rather than a discursive practice in itself. Discourse analysis has been extensively applied to the output of news, yet is underdeveloped in the area of production studies. This article argues that a more discursive approach to news production studies yields a more nuanced understanding of journalistic culture and practice. This is illustrated by using the tools of discursive social psychology to analyse interviews with 23 broadcast journalists about the nature of news. The analysis helps with the identification of the use of empiricist discourse to construct a ‘natural’ journalism and to justify certain constructions of journalistic practice.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Feb 1, 2018
Journal Discourse and Communication
Print ISSN 1750-4813
Electronic ISSN 1750-4821
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 1
Pages 80-98
APA6 Citation Reardon, S. (2018). Natural selection: Empiricist discourse in the talk of broadcast journalists. Discourse and Communication, 12(1), 80-98.
Keywords discourse analysis, news production, journalism, discursive social psychology, empiricist discourse, television news
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