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Independence, autonomy and recursivity in a journalistic field

February 14, 2009

From EASA Media Anthropology Network mailing list

Dear all, Our next e-seminar starts next Tuesday, February 17, and ends March 3. Dr Jay Gabriel (independent scholar, USA) will present his working paper called “Independence, Autonomy and Recursivity in a Journalistic Field”. Comments will be presented by Dr. Per Ståhlberg (independent scholar, Sweden).

The working paper [is now available] on the mediaanthro website [….] . Enclosed are further info about the working paper, Dr. Gabriel and Dr. Ståhlberg .


Journalists in the United States, as elsewhere, train to resist influence. This interest is evident when they talk about their profession. This article concerns the relationship of journalistic ideals of independence to the broader autonomy of the journalistic field in the United States. I use a framework, adapted from sociolinguistic studies, with which to understand the relevance of independence to autonomy. This work draws on participant observation and interviews with journalists in two U.S. cities.

Dr. Jay Gabriel is a cultural anthropologist who has conducted ethnographic research on journalists and news production in North America. His doctoral research [2008] was a study of journalistic objectivity as a  communication strategy. His current research interests include media anthropology, globalization of news and media, and media representation of “traditional” anthropological subjects.

Dr. Per Ståhlberg is a Swedish social anthropologist who has done research on mass media in India. His doctoral thesis was a study of Hindi language journalists working with mainstream newspapers (2002). Currently Per is working on a study about the new image of India as a rising superpower, particularly how “visions of the future” are being constructed in popular culture and influencing Indian society in various ways.

All the best, Sigurjon.


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