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Cultural Meanings of News

Consider news—as the product of a culture

What is news? What does news tell us about the culture and the society that produces and consumes it? This book provides a fresh examination of news production from a cultural perspective, moving beyond what was once called "sociology of news" and toward the globally-broader, culturally-based concept of "journalism studies."

Key Features

  • Twenty-three original and contemporary articles—encompassing the intrinsic cultures of print, broadcast, and online media—are grouped in six thematically cohesive sets.
  • The articles are presented chronologically to allow the reader to follow the exchange of ideas between authors over time.
  • Berkowitz looks at news globally, helping the student look beyond his or her own cultural context to that of many other societies.
  • A comprehensive framework helps to thoughtfully present this cultural study of news. Berkowitz opens and closes the text with a cultural perspective on news and hints on applying this perspective to emerging news situations; each section also contains an introduction that highlight connections between the articles.

Intended Audience

Cultural Meanings of News: A Text-Reader is ideal for a wide range of courses in any journalism studies curriculum, including Media and Society, Sociology of News, Media Criticism, and Popular Culture and Mass Media. This text may also be used as a companion to Berkowitz's Social Meaning of News: A Text-Reader, which addresses the sociological approach to news.

Dan Berkowitz
Dan Berkowitz
Introducation: From Journalistic Roots to Cultural Perspectives
Dan Berkowitz
Part I: A Framework for Thinking About the Meanings of News
Stephen D. Reese
1. Understanding the Global Journalist: A Hierarchy of Influences Approach
Mark Deuze
2. What Is Journalism? Preofessional Identity and Ideology of Journalists Reconsidered
Thomas Hanitzsch
3. Deconstructing Journalism Culture: Toward a Universal Theory
Dan Berkowitz
Part II: Cultural Practice of Journalism
Jane B. Singer
4. The Socially Responsible Existentialist: A Normative Emphasis for Journalists in a New Media Environment
Dan Berkowitz and Lyombe Eko
5. Blasphemy as Sacred Rite/Right: 'The Mohammed Cartoons Affair' and Maintenance of Journalistic Ideology
Ida Schultz
6. The Journalistic Gut Feeling: Journalistic Doxa, News Habitus and Orthodox News Values
Frank Durham
7. Media Ritual in Catastrophic Time: The Populist Turn in Television Coverage of Hurricane Katrina
Dan Berkowitz
Part III: Making Meaning in the Journalistic Interpretive Community
Matt Carlson
8. War Journalism and the 'KIA Journalist': The Cases of David Bloom and Michael Kelly
Kristina Riegert and Eva-Karin Olsson
9. The Importance of Ritual in Crisis Journalism
Sue Robinson
10. 'Someone's Gotta Be in Control Here': The Institutionalization of Online News and the Creation of Shared Jounalistic Authority
David Ryfe
11. Broader and Deeper: A Study of Newsroom Culture in a Time of Change
Dan Berkowitz
Part IV: Repairing the Jounalistic Paradigm
Elizabeth Blanks Hindman
12. The Princess and the Paparazzi: Blame, Responsibility, and the Media's Role in the Death of Diana
Russell Frank
13. 'These Crowded Circumstances': When Pack Journalists Bash Pack Journalism
Robert L. Handley
14. Israeli Image Repair: Recasting the Deviant Actor to Retell the Story
Guy Berger
15. A Paradigm in Process: What the Scapegoating of Vusi Mona Signalled About South African Journalism
Dan Berkowitz
Part V: News Narratives as Cultural Text
Liz Fawcett
16. Why Peace Journalism Isn't News
Melinda B. Robins
17. 'Lost Boys' and the Promised Land: U.S. Newspaper Coverage of Sudanese Refugees
James S. Ettema
18. Crafting Cultural Resonance: Imaginative Power in Everyday Journalism
Barbara Barnett
19. Medea in the Media: Narrative and Myth in the Newspaper Coverage of Women Who Kill Their Children
Dan Berkowitz
Part VI: News as Collective Memory
Jill Edy and Miglena Daradanova
20. Reporting Through the Lens of the Past: From Challenger to Columbia
Oren Meyes
21. Memory in Journalism and the Memory of Journalism: Israeli Journalists and the Constructed Legacy of Haolam Hazeh
Matt Carlson
22. Making Memories Matter: Journalistic Authority and the Memorializing Discourse Around Mary McGrory and David Brinkley
Sue Robinson
23. ' We Were All There': Remembering America in the Anniversary Coverage of Hurricane Katrina
Dan Berkowitz
Epilogue: Reflecting on Cultural Meanings of News
About the Editor

Excellent work on the cultural interpretation and dynamic of news reporting and consumption

Mr Douglas Watson
Department of History, Univ. of Plymouth
May 29, 2014

This is a very good book that offers an overarching picture of global perspectives in journalism. Recommended for undergraduates as well as postgraduate students of international journalism.

Dr Hayes Mabweazara
Media and Performance, University College Falmouth
November 6, 2012

The person who has to make the decision with me would not approve the book. I am looking for a supplemental text.

Mrs JoAnn Worthington Worthington
Social Behavioral Science Dept, Joliet Junior College
August 8, 2012

Good text, and a useful selection of readings, good for students researching assignments

Mr Robbie Smyth
Journalism and Media Communications, Griffith College Dublin
March 7, 2012

The book is interesting and provides a lot of insights in the cultural aspects of news and newsrooms. But it is not really relevant for the course for which it was a good candidate. I will consider it for a future course with more relevant content.

Dr An Nguyen
School of Media, Film and Music, Sussex University
December 16, 2011

It is a very sharp and very useful selection of texts regarding the cultural approach to journalism studies. Together with the previous text-reader prepared by Dan Berkowitz ("Social Meaning of News"), it gives the students a rich and comprehensive set of perspectives on this field.

Professor Joaquim Fidalgo
Communications , Minho University
November 24, 2011

A great selection of key texts needed when wanting to understand how and why culture and news is interlinked. It is great now to have a book which puts all these texts together, and relates them to each other. This book will be essential reading for my class in Journalism & Society.

Mrs Line Thomsen
Inst for Information & Media Studies, Aarhus University
October 20, 2011

I am going to add this as recommended reading to both a second year Journalism course but also guide dissertation students specialising in this area because it's such a good way in to ground students in the thinking and evolution of the research done in this field - the thematic divisions are very balanced.

Ms Paula Hearsum
Faculty of Arts & Architecture, Brighton University
June 8, 2011

An effective guide on how to place news in a cultural context.

Mr Philip Dixon
Faculty of Media, Arts and Society, Southampton Solent University
July 13, 2010

Sample Materials & Chapters