To understand journalism, we need to understand how people understand journalism, writes Rasmus Kleis Nielsen. To make sense of journalism examining so-called “folk theories of journalism” is crucial. By “folk theories of journalism” the writer means the popular beliefs about what journalism is, what it does, and what it ought to do.
The study presents three folk theories that a community in Denmark uses to make sense of a local newspaper. The first theory defines the local newspaper as relevant and local, second as relevant, but geographically or politically biased, and third as neither relevant nor local.
According to the writer, journalism studies need to pay more attention to the different ways in which people interpret, perceive, and understand journalism.
The article is published online by Journalism Studies and it can be found here.
Picture: Newspaper by Jason Ralston, licence: CC BY 2.0
Edited on 15.4.2016: Grammatical corrections to language were made.