Journalism is a privileged cultural form. It can bring down governments, influence wars, shift stock markets and destroy industries. It is the main source of our knowledge about the world and our place in it, and the point at which the individual and the social worlds meet. Referring to cases drawn from both the US and the UK, including the White House sex scandals and the death of Diana, this book examines the various factors involved in the making of contemporary journalism, including economic and political pressures, changes in the technology of news gathering and production, and the growing role of sources and 'source strategies'. The text analyses how such factors come to exert influence on the form, content and style of journalism, and reviews current approaches to the sociology impact of journalism on individuals, groups and organisations. The Sociology of Journalism combines a comprehensive survey of the elements of journalistic production with critical analysis of traditional liberal pluralist and materialist perspectives on the subject.
It calls for an approach which recognises the chaotic unpredictability and discursive instability of contemporary cultural production, and of journalism in particular.