ARTICLE: A multi-level look at environmental journalism

Picture: Castle Taufers by Eberhard Grossgasteiger, license CC0 1.0

How do different levels of influences affect the daily work of environmental journalists? Ever Josue Figueroa, of the University of Texas at Austin, studied environmental journalism as a space for a multi-level analysis, using a newer configuration of the hierarchy of influences model (HOI) as a theoretical framework. Figueroa conducted in-depth interviews with 13 environmental journalists in the US and Canada.

The author finds that the environmental journalistic space is influenced by the relationship between three things: journalistic ideology, organizational structures, and individual work routines. Multiple levels of the HOI influence the creation of content at the same time.

Journalistic ideology has an impact on every level of the model, supporting both organizational and institutional structures. Organizational aspects, such as the need of for-profit organizations to make a profit, can create a space that runs contrarian to the beliefs of what good journalism should be at the individual level, Figueroa finds.

All in all, the study portrays a complex network existing between environmental journalists and the federal government.

The article “News organizations, ideology, and work routines” was published in Journalism and is available online (free abstract).

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