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'Everyone in journalism steals from everyone else'. Routine reliance on other media in different stages of news production
Unformatted Document Text:  7 external point of reference for the aesthetic and stylistic quality of a journalistic product. Although this has not yet been investigated, media also can be assumed to play a major role for the evaluation of a story after its publication. The placing and weighting of topics can only be assessed in comparison to other media. To resume our arguments, this means that media can be helpful sources of different kinds of information in all stages of news production. In this respect, media are multifunctional sources, which distinguishes them from other sources. Empirical findings about routine reliance on other media Most of the studies investigating routine reliance on other media are based upon participant observations (e.g. Breed 1955a; Sigal 1973; Gans 1979; Fishman 1980). Other studies concentrate on the results of routine reliance on other media rather than media use itself and only investigate media content (e.g. Reese & Danielian 1989; Shaw & Sparrow 1999). In the few relevant survey studies most questions referred to which media were regularly used by the journalists (media use). Mostly, only the frequency of the use of well-known national media was measured, often in order to identify opinion leaders within the media system. In addition, these studies analyse their data only in descriptive and cursory ways. This is also true for the only two representative German surveys that include questions on journalists’ media use (Köcher 1985; Scholl & Weischenberg 1998) as well as for the few relevant US studies (Rosten 1937; Rivers 1962; Johnstone et al. 1976; Burgoon et al. 1982; Weaver & Wilhoit 1986; Weaver & Wilhoit 1996). But this information about journalists’ media use does not tell us too much about the relevance of media in everyday journalistic work and news production. Unfortunately, media importance is even investigated less frequently than media use (e.g. Kepplinger 1994). If it is analysed, media importance is only measured for one specific stage of news production (e.g. news selection). Therefore, comparisons of the significance of the media in different stages of news production or between media and other sources of information have not yet been done. In addition, systematic or even multivariate analyses of differences between journalists are also missing. All in all, several questions regarding the relevance of other news media for the news making process are still open. Firstly, the time spend by journalists using media has never been investigated to date, although it might be a good indicator for their importance in everyday journalistic work. Secondly, most authors seem to assume that media use among journalists is very homogeneous and that using other media is equally important for all journalist. But there is at least some evidence that there might be differences. Analysing a

Authors: Reinemann, Carsten.
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7
external point of reference for the aesthetic and stylistic quality of a journalistic product.
Although this has not yet been investigated, media also can be assumed to play a major role
for the evaluation of a story after its publication. The placing and weighting of topics can only
be assessed in comparison to other media. To resume our arguments, this means that media
can be helpful sources of different kinds of information in all stages of news production. In
this respect, media are multifunctional sources, which distinguishes them from other sources.
Empirical findings about routine reliance on other media
Most of the studies investigating routine reliance on other media are based upon participant
observations (e.g. Breed 1955a; Sigal 1973; Gans 1979; Fishman 1980). Other studies
concentrate on the results of routine reliance on other media rather than media use itself and
only investigate media content (e.g. Reese & Danielian 1989; Shaw & Sparrow 1999). In the
few relevant survey studies most questions referred to which media were regularly used by
the journalists (media use). Mostly, only the frequency of the use of well-known national
media was measured, often in order to identify opinion leaders within the media system. In
addition, these studies analyse their data only in descriptive and cursory ways. This is also
true for the only two representative German surveys that include questions on journalists’
media use (Köcher 1985; Scholl & Weischenberg 1998) as well as for the few relevant US
studies (Rosten 1937; Rivers 1962; Johnstone et al. 1976; Burgoon et al. 1982; Weaver &
Wilhoit 1986; Weaver & Wilhoit 1996). But this information about journalists’ media use
does not tell us too much about the relevance of media in everyday journalistic work and
news production. Unfortunately, media importance is even investigated less frequently than
media use (e.g. Kepplinger 1994). If it is analysed, media importance is only measured for
one specific stage of news production (e.g. news selection). Therefore, comparisons of the
significance of the media in different stages of news production or between media and other
sources of information have not yet been done. In addition, systematic or even multivariate
analyses of differences between journalists are also missing.
All in all, several questions regarding the relevance of other news media for the news
making process are still open. Firstly, the time spend by journalists using media has never
been investigated to date, although it might be a good indicator for their importance in
everyday journalistic work. Secondly, most authors seem to assume that media use among
journalists is very homogeneous and that using other media is equally important for all
journalist. But there is at least some evidence that there might be differences. Analysing a


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