Reinventing Professionalism: Journalism and News in Global Perspective

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Current anxiety about the future of news makes it opportune to revisit the notion of professionalism in journalism. Media expert Silvio Waisbord takes this pressing issue as his theme and argues that professional journalism is both a normative and analytical notion. It refers to reporting that observes certain ethical standards as well as to collective efforts by journalists to exercise control over the news. Professionalism should not be narrowly associated with the normative ideal as it historically developed in the West during the past century. Instead, it needs to be approached as a valuable concept to throw into sharp relief how journalists define conditions and rules of work within certain settings. Professionalization is about the specialization of labor and control of occupational practice. These issues are important, particularly amidst the combination of political, technological and economic trends that have profoundly unsettled the foundations of modern journalism. By doing so, they have stimulated the reinvention of professionalism. This engaging and insightful book critically examines the meanings, expectations, and critiques of professional journalism in a global context.