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Unformatted text preview: 2005; van Zoonen, 2005).
Rather than invoking a banal nostalgia for an idealized past, this study recognizes that the
very paradigm of journalism as practiced over the past 80 years has become unfixed,
increasingly violated from within and questioned from without (e.g. Bennett et al., 1985;
Bishop, 2004; Hindman, 2005).
Building on the seminal work of Kuhn, Bennett et al. (1985, p. 54) define a paradigm
as ‘‘a set of broadly shared assumptions about how to gather and interpret information
relevant to a particular sphere of activity.’’ Although a paradigm is often equated with
a particular set of routines and practices, Kuhn (1962, p. 175) suggested a paradigm is a
system of intertwined methodological and theoretical assumptions, an ‘‘entire constellation of beliefs, values, techniques, and so on shared by members of a given community.’’
The allocation of authority is one critical element of any journalistic paradigm. Bennett
et al. (1985, p. 53) argue that journalism is guided by a ‘‘logic that determines who ought
to be given public voice to say what kinds of things.’’ Paradigms unequally confer
epistemic warrant * the presumption that what one says is true.
Kuhn’s thesis, of course, is that paradigms are always subject to revolution. The last
revolution in journalistic authority, Rosen (2003) suggests, came in the mid-20th century
with the emergence of a professional paradigm, a product of the high-modern age and its
faith in social rationalization, scientific method, and professional expertise (see Hallin,
2000). Reconceptualized as neither author nor partisan advocate, the professional
journalist was expected to be a neutral expert who maintained clear distinctions between
science and politics, fact and value, objectivity and subjectivity (Williams and Delli Carpini,
2003). Shaped by ‘‘a desire to escape the merely local and contingent’’ (Carey, 1995,
p. 387), the authoritative journalist claimed a universal vantage point from which to
transcend the limitations of personal and cultural subjectivities in pursuit of objective
Carey suggests the professionalization of journalism oc...
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