How journalists source newsA linguisticethnographic approachUniversitécatholique de Louvain14 October 2012 Dr. Tom Van Hout firstname.lastname@example.org
A 5-slide primer on: etHnograPHY
cultural ecology a family of methods involving direct and sustained social contact with agents and of richly writing up the encounter, respecting, recording, representing at least partly in its own terms the irreducibility of human experience. (Willis & Trondman 2002: 394)
ethnography • studies meaning in context (fieldwork) • participates in, observesandreconstructs • documents the how, whatandwhy • makes the familiarstrange(process) • makes the strangefamiliar(product)
ethnographic analysis case studymethodology = micro-level analyses of social action • evidential: empiricalfacts • conjectural: meaning in context knowledge is generatedinductively
ethnographic analysis Blommaert, Jan, & Dong, Jie. (2010). Ethnographic Fieldwork: A Beginner's Guide. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Next, a 3 slide outline of NEWS etHnograPHY
newsroom ethnographies the organisational requirements of news combine with the professional ideology of objectivity to routinely privilege the voices of the powerful, and this further reinforces the tendency towards the standardised and ideological nature of news. (Cottle 2007: 4)
a tale of two paradigms Paterson, Chris, & Domingo, David (Eds.). (2011). Making Online News - Volume 2. Newsroom Ethnography in the Second Decade of Internet Journalism (Vol. 2). New York: Peter Lang. Bird, Elizabeth S. (Ed.). (2010). The Anthropology of News and Journalism: Global perspectives. Indiana: Indiana University Press.
Andfinally: 2 slides on LinguisticetHnograPHY
tying down & opening up • "'tying ethnography down': pushing ethnography towards the analysis of clearly delimitable processes, increasing the amount of reported data that is open to falsification, looking to impregnate local description with analytical frameworks drawn from outside. [...] • 'opening linguistics up': inviting reflexive sensitivity to the processes involved in the production of linguistic claims and to the potential importance of what gets left out, encouraging a willingness to accept (and run with) the fact that beyond the reach of standardised falsification procedures '[e]xperience … has ways of boiling over, and making us correct our present formulas'." Rampton et al 2004: 4
discourses • education • workplace • community • literacy • multimodality
empirical example Oct 2006 – March 2007 De Standaard How do journalists write from sources?
access ‘foot in the door’ approach • interview • ‘meeloopdag’ • fieldwork
fieldwork trial & error research protocol • story identification • reporter confirmation • data recording & observation • retrospective interview
parameters Analyzing the spatiotemporal unfolding of news production; Describing concrete situations in order to interrogate claims made about journalism; Alternating between levels of analytical magnification; Sustaining a dialogue between theory, observation and interpretation
interview • My first idea was actually • Now I must give the floor to • ‘Ma bon’, it’s Apple
writing from sources • what journalists do, how they do so and why; • knowledge mediation and journalistic representation processes; and • ultimately have wider applicability for the study of media production, intertextualityand cultural production in general.