Monday, October 29, 2007

Why journalism matters?

Given that journalism has been with us in one form or another since people recognized a need to share information about themselves with others, it is bewildering that such a question persists.Scholars of journalism are partly responsible for the fact that journalism remains at question and under fire in many collective sensibilities

Have scholars done enough to establish why journalism matters and under which circumstances it matters most? The starting point of this book is to suggest that they have not. And so this book crafts a framework for rethinking journalism, by which it might be better appreciated for what it is, not for what it might be or what it turns into.

Looking anew at what we as scholars have established about journalism and aiming to get the story of journalism’s study told in many of its configurations, the book borrows its title from a phrase coined by James Carey—it begins by “taking journalism seriously.”2

Taking journalism seriously means first of all reviewing the scholarly literature, with an eye to tracking the role that scholars have played in thinking about journalism. How have scholars tended to conceptualize news, news making, journalism, journalists, and the news media? Which explanatory frames have they used to explore journalistic practice? From which fields of inquiry have they borrowed in shaping their assumptions about how journalism works?

And have their studies taken journalism seriously enough? In considering what has been stressed and understated in existing scholarly literature, the book also takes journalism seriously by raising questions about the viability of the field of journalism scholarship.

Its shape today ,its evolution over time, even the challenges it has drawn from elsewhere inthe academy these issues make the politics of inquiry central to the viability of journalism’s study. How have negotiations over what counts as knowledge legitimated certain kinds of scholarship and marginalized others.

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