ARTICLE: Journalism studies as a field

Picture: Track and field by Daniel Olah, license CC0 1.0

Journalism is fundamentally different from other kinds of communicative genres and thus demands a specific scholarly area, a new research article argues. But what exactly is journalism studies?

The article “Journalism Studies and its Core Commitments” examines the scholarly discipline of communication, and one of its fields, journalism studies. The authors suggest that fields within communication possess scholarly ‘commitments’, that is, core principles.

The article has two goals: to challenge scholars in journalism studies to confront the basis for their research; and to serve as an example for other fields within communication to explore their assumptions.

Six conceptual commitments define the ontological and epistemological premises of journalism studies. These are contextual sensitivity, holistic relationality, comparative inclination, normative awareness, embedded communicative power, and methodological pluralism. The researchers state that these features demonstrate the central dimensions of journalism studies, establishing the boundaries of the field.

The authors of the article are:

  • Matt Carlson of Saint Louis University
  • Sue Robinson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Seth C. Lewis of the University of Oregon and
  • Daniel A. Berkowitz of the University of Iowa.

The article “Journalism Studies and its Core Commitments” was published in the Journal of Communication and is available online (abstract free).

Picture: Track and field by Daniel Olah, license CC0 1.0

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