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Reclassifying Soft and Hard News Culture Specific Findings or a Reflection of Gender?
Unformatted Document Text:  situation-dependent and culture-dependent phenomenon, contingent on a specific location, coverage style and timing and should not be used to infer the future or similar processes in other media or other countries. If we accept the second possibility of a situated and culture-dependent phenomenon, the declarative emphasis evident in the responses of women may be perceived as counter-response to the frequent stereotypical ascription of female journalists to “soft” issues. This may be seen as an attempt to gain acceptance by “the gang” and exhibit merit according to conventionally accepted values and the dominant climate, especially as the assimilation and application of “masculine” codes serves, in practice, as a stepping stone from the margins to the center, from the “pink ghetto” to the heart of news production. Even if we take this to be a counter-response, two distinct developments are possible. The first is the retention of the counter-response on the declarative level. The second is the application of reasoning which prefers “hard” news. In other words, one option is that women, who are aware of the “soft” image ascribed to them, believe that their full inclusion in the newsroom requires the use of a tactic declaration of preference for “hard” news topics. The second option is that women actually apply in practice those values which they perceive to be accepted and do not restrict their actions to the declarative realm. Therefore, we can say that in handling news items, whether “hard” or “soft”, each gender operates in a manner most consistent with its nature. Men’s willingness to engage in “soft” issues can be explained by the fact that their typical mode of practice is “objective” and “detached”; They perceive the need to engage in “soft” issues as an “objective” need which stems from general and economic trends in the media market rather than individual expression. Women, in contrast, can deal with news items categorized as “hard”, although these are identified with men, because women implement the values which appear to them to be accepted and are not content with the declarative level of implementation. Even those who claim that feminization will lead to changes in news practice are divided on the question of the nature of these changes. Will feminization lead to expanded coverage of “soft” issues or changes in patterns of engagement with “hard” issues? Although in absence of the perspective of time, no clear cut determination can

Authors: Lavie, Aliza.
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situation-dependent and culture-dependent phenomenon, contingent on a specific
location, coverage style and timing and should not be used to infer the future or
similar processes in other media or other countries.
If we accept the second possibility of a situated and culture-dependent phenomenon,
the declarative emphasis evident in the responses of women may be perceived as
counter-response to the frequent stereotypical ascription of female journalists to “soft”
issues. This may be seen as an attempt to gain acceptance by “the gang” and exhibit
merit according to conventionally accepted values and the dominant climate,
especially as the assimilation and application of “masculine” codes serves, in practice,
as a stepping stone from the margins to the center, from the “pink ghetto” to the heart
of news production.
Even if we take this to be a counter-response, two distinct developments are possible.
The first is the retention of the counter-response on the declarative level. The second
is the application of reasoning which prefers “hard” news. In other words, one option
is that women, who are aware of the “soft” image ascribed to them, believe that their
full inclusion in the newsroom requires the use of a tactic declaration of preference for
“hard” news topics. The second option is that women actually apply in practice those
values which they perceive to be accepted and do not restrict their actions to the
declarative realm.
Therefore, we can say that in handling news items, whether “hard” or “soft”, each
gender operates in a manner most consistent with its nature. Men’s willingness to
engage in “soft” issues can be explained by the fact that their typical mode of practice
is “objective” and “detached”; They perceive the need to engage in “soft” issues as an
“objective” need which stems from general and economic trends in the media market
rather than individual expression. Women, in contrast, can deal with news items
categorized as “hard”, although these are identified with men, because women
implement the values which appear to them to be accepted and are not content with
the declarative level of implementation.
Even those who claim that feminization will lead to changes in news practice are
divided on the question of the nature of these changes. Will feminization lead to
expanded coverage of “soft” issues or changes in patterns of engagement with “hard”
issues? Although in absence of the perspective of time, no clear cut determination can


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