Editors practice quality control and negotiate among various groups in news journalism. Research papers have rarely taken this role as their focus. “Clearer assessment of the editor thus allows for richer assessment of what is – and what is not – journalism”, Andrew Duffy of Nanyang Technological University, writes in a new study.
The role of editor distinguishes news journalism from other non-journalistic, but resembling activities, such as blogs and public relations, Duffy writes. There is journalistic content happening outside traditional news media (such as well-written blogs with a public service intent), and news organizations themselves conduct many non-journalistic activities. The author sees the editorial function as key here.
Editors negotiate among four groups with distinct values: the audience, the organisation, journalism as practice, and society. Duffy argues that “different interests meet, merge and are negotiated by the editor, and can be observed as they are made manifest in practice”. He states that editors are essential for the functions that construct journalism as authoritative, credible and valued in society.
The article “Out of the shadows” was published in Journalism and is available on the publisher’s website (free abstract).
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