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Drawing Lines in the Journalistic Sand: Jon Stewart, Edward R. Murrow and Memory of News Gone Bye
Unformatted Document Text:  Drawing Lines in the Journalistic Sand 10 Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, discussion arose about the social impact of political rhetoric and news media, renewing media conversation about Stewart’s social role. Of the 42 items gathered for analysis, 16 came from mainstream news sites, including one international publication. The remaining 26 articles appeared in blog posts. To understand the use of collective memory within the ongoing media conversation about the Stewart-Murrow comparison, the authors conducted an interpretive analysis of the dominant themes (Lindlof & Taylor, 2002). Repeated readings were made of the 42 items, with special concern for discussion of membership in the journalistic community, boundary work articulating a rationale for inclusion/exclusion, and specific references to Murrow (and other legendary journalists). References to the Times anointment of Stewart as the next Murrow were also noted. As we continued to read the texts in order to understand the contrast of the conversation about the Stewart-Murrow comparison between the mainstream news media and the blogosphere, we found it necessary to define what we consider media outlets within the mainstream press and the blogosphere. For this study, we consider newspapers, TV stations, magazines and websites that act as part of the traditional media, including Politico.com and blogs that are related to those established media outlets as a part of the mainstream media. Blog postings that come from private individuals and media commentators, such as Mediaite.com, were considered to be part of the blogosphere. Through the intersecting conversation over Stewart’s journalistic role among both mainstream media and the blogosphere, this paper adopts a portion of Tenenboim-Weinblatt’s (2009) proposition that research should approach journalistic boundary work through the relationships “between different media players, and between them and the academy” (p. 434).

Authors: Berkowitz, Dan. and Gutsche Jr, Robert.
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Drawing Lines in the Journalistic Sand   
10 
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, discussion arose about the social impact of 
political rhetoric and news media, renewing media conversation about Stewart’s social role. Of 
the 42 items gathered for analysis, 16 came from mainstream news sites, including one 
international publication. The remaining 26 articles appeared in blog posts.  
To understand the use of collective memory within the ongoing media conversation about 
the Stewart-Murrow comparison, the authors conducted an interpretive analysis of the dominant 
themes (Lindlof & Taylor, 2002). Repeated readings were made of the 42 items, with special 
concern for discussion of membership in the journalistic community, boundary work articulating 
a rationale for inclusion/exclusion, and specific references to Murrow (and other legendary 
journalists). References to the Times anointment of Stewart as the next Murrow were also noted.  
As we continued to read the texts in order to understand the contrast of the conversation 
about the Stewart-Murrow comparison between the mainstream news media and the 
blogosphere, we found it necessary to define what we consider media outlets within the 
mainstream press and the blogosphere. For this study, we consider newspapers, TV stations, 
magazines and websites that act as part of the traditional media, including Politico.com and blogs 
that are related to those established media outlets as a part of the mainstream media. Blog 
postings that come from private individuals and media commentators, such as Mediaite.com, 
were considered to be part of the blogosphere.    
Through the intersecting conversation over Stewart’s journalistic role among both 
mainstream media and the blogosphere, this paper adopts a portion of Tenenboim-Weinblatt’s 
(2009) proposition that research should approach journalistic boundary work through the 
relationships “between different media players, and between them and the academy” (p. 434).  


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