Argumentation in the Newsroom
The news we see daily is selected from among alternatives by journalists. Argumentation in the Newsroom uses ethnographic data from Swiss television and print newsrooms to shed light on how journalists make decisions regarding the selection and presentation of news items in their daily professional practice. The evidence illustrates that, contrary to the standard view, journalistic decisions are not limited to the influence of standardized production patterns, instinct, or editors’ orders. Rather, in their attempt to produce the best news possible, journalists carefully ponder and discuss their choices, utilizing full-fledged critical discussions at all stages of the newsmaking process. By employing the pragma-dialectical model of a critical discussion in conjunction with the Argumentum Model of Topics, this study provides a detailed reconstruction of how journalists make use of argumentative reasoning, basing their decisions on a complex set of material premises and on recurrent procedural premises.
[Argumentation in Context, 13] 2017. xiii, 211 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
List of figures | pp. xi–xiv
List of tables | pp. xv–xvi
Acknowledgements | p. xvii
Chapter 1. Newsmaking as an argumentative context
Chapter 2. Newsmaking: Actors, factors, approaches
Chapter 3. Argumentation theory: A historical summary
Chapter 4. News values: Why do events become news?
Chapter 5. Context: Newsmaking where?
Chapter 6. Building a corpus: How one gets into the newsroom and what can be found there
Chapter 7. Case studies: Collective decision-making and evaluation
Chapter 8. Case studies: Individual decision-making and evaluation
Chapter 9. Case studies: News products
Chapter 10. Findings and conclusions
References | pp. 195–208
“ Argumentation in the Newsroom represents an important step forward in the analysis of contextualized argumentation in journalism. Marta Zampa writes from inside the newsroom: she gives an insightful and comprehensive perspective of how journalists use argumentation in the process of making decisions about the news, from the design phase to the final products. Supported by an impressive multilingual corpus collected in Switzerland, Marta Zampa’s analysis opens a window into how journalists weigh arguments and make their choices, alone and in interaction with others. To those who are interested not only in how context influences argumentation but also in how argumentation changes context –scholars in argumentation, communication and journalism – this book will offer food for thought.”
Sara Greco, USI - Università della Svizzera italiana
“Dr. Zampa offers genuine insights about the practice of news production with a novel analysis of argumentation in journalist decision making in the editorial room, production room, and the process of writing and video production. The application of the Argumentum Model of Topics offers an important, innovative contribution for investigating news values as these happen in the key moments of everyday journalistic practice.”
Mark Aakhus, Rutgers University
“There is much to recommend in Argumentation in the Newsroom. It is well written, with concise, useful overviews of the research on journalistic norms and media linguistics. It productively fills in a gap in that research by conceiving of gatekeeping practices and newsroom decision-making as involving argumentative reasoning, which allows Zampa to go beyond telling us what newsmakers do but how and why they do it. Zampa has collected an impressively deep corpus of data and employs innovative methods to interpret that data.”
Darrin Hicks, University of Denver, Journal of Argumentation in Context 9:2 (2020)
Cited by 7 other publications
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Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFG – Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis
BISAC Subject: LAN009030 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Pragmatics