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Framing media mergers in France and the United States
Unformatted Document Text:  Framing media mergers in France and the United States 3 the month that followed the merger’s announcement were analyzed. A comparative element was added by using the same coding scheme to analyze a parallel body of press coverage in France. Literature Review Images of journalists: from mirror to dark glass Journalists’ popular and scholarly images alike shifted tremendously in the 20 th century. Following intellectual fashions that negated the existence of a true reality, journalists started to abandon their attempt to play the role of objective purveyors of news (West, 2001, ch.5). The move was partially dictated by the realization that nobody can truly interpret public affairs or any other human realm of action objectively, and partly as a conscious attempt at becoming more powerful and relevant. Sociologists gradually developed a theory of journalism based on the assumption that news is manufactured. In a seminal study, White (1997[1950]) observed the work of a wire editor at an American newspaper and came to realize “how highly subjective, how reliant upon value-judgments based on the ‘gatekeepers’ own set of experiences, attitudes and expectations the communication of “news” really is” (65). Sociologists stressed the attempt journalists made to routinize emergencies, to cope with the unknown by automatically processing it according to pre-prepared templates (Tuchman, 1997[1973]). These templates make some messages more liable to be transmitted than others. Ethnographic studies (e.g Gans, 1976; Sigal, 1973) proved the point further: news reporting and editing was influenced, not only by ideological bias or, at least a shared cluster of values, that are only marginally more avant-garde than the public’s as a whole,

Authors: Davidson, Roei.
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background image
Framing media mergers in France and the United States
3
the month that followed the merger’s announcement were analyzed. A comparative
element was added by using the same coding scheme to analyze a parallel body of press
coverage in France.
Literature Review

Images of journalists: from mirror to dark glass
Journalists’ popular and scholarly images alike shifted tremendously in the 20
th
century.
Following intellectual fashions that negated the existence of a true reality, journalists
started to abandon their attempt to play the role of objective purveyors of news (West,
2001, ch.5). The move was partially dictated by the realization that nobody can truly
interpret public affairs or any other human realm of action objectively, and partly as a
conscious attempt at becoming more powerful and relevant.
Sociologists gradually developed a theory of journalism based on the assumption that
news is manufactured. In a seminal study, White (1997[1950]) observed the work of a
wire editor at an American newspaper and came to realize “how highly subjective, how
reliant upon value-judgments based on the ‘gatekeepers’ own set of experiences, attitudes
and expectations the communication of “news” really is” (65). Sociologists stressed the
attempt journalists made to routinize emergencies, to cope with the unknown by
automatically processing it according to pre-prepared templates (Tuchman, 1997[1973]).
These templates make some messages more liable to be transmitted than others.
Ethnographic studies (e.g Gans, 1976; Sigal, 1973) proved the point further: news
reporting and editing was influenced, not only by ideological bias or, at least a shared
cluster of values, that are only marginally more avant-garde than the public’s as a whole,


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