News media as a "journalistic field": What Bourdieu adds to new institutionalism, and vice versa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Bourdieu's field theory and the new institutionalism of Cook and Sparrow are similar in that they call for a new unit of analysis for journalism studies: between the individual news organization and the society as a whole, the "mezzo-level" interorganizational and professional environment of the field/institution. Bourdieu's focus on competition and difference, rooted in processes of cultural and economic class distinctions both among audiences and cultural producers, supplements the new institutionalist emphasis on homogeneity; moreover, Bourdieu's emphasis on a professional or intellectual autonomy (however limited) of journalists as a collective body, elided in new institutionalist accounts, remains an essential element of any thorough media analysis. Conversely, new institutionalists' greater attention to the state as a partially autonomous influence on the journalistic field helps fill a crucial gap in Bourdieu's model. Both approaches could be improved by adopting a broader view and analyzing effects on news content and form of variations in national journalistic fields (and field configurations) - in particular the organizational/spatial ecology of journalistic competition, and the cultural inertia of professional traditions rooted in contingent historical processes of field formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-202
Number of pages16
JournalPolitical Communication
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006

Fingerprint

institutionalism
news
media analysis
field theory
Ecology
journalism
journalist
supplement
ecology
producer
autonomy
organization
Economics
economics
homogeneity
Society

Keywords

  • Cross-national comparative research
  • Field theory
  • Journalism
  • New institutionalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

News media as a "journalistic field" : What Bourdieu adds to new institutionalism, and vice versa. / Benson, Rodney.

In: Political Communication, Vol. 23, No. 2, 01.07.2006, p. 187-202.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

@article{63b38a40f96149fa8ff60e3012682793,
title = "News media as a {"}journalistic field{"}: What Bourdieu adds to new institutionalism, and vice versa",
abstract = "Bourdieu's field theory and the new institutionalism of Cook and Sparrow are similar in that they call for a new unit of analysis for journalism studies: between the individual news organization and the society as a whole, the {"}mezzo-level{"} interorganizational and professional environment of the field/institution. Bourdieu's focus on competition and difference, rooted in processes of cultural and economic class distinctions both among audiences and cultural producers, supplements the new institutionalist emphasis on homogeneity; moreover, Bourdieu's emphasis on a professional or intellectual autonomy (however limited) of journalists as a collective body, elided in new institutionalist accounts, remains an essential element of any thorough media analysis. Conversely, new institutionalists' greater attention to the state as a partially autonomous influence on the journalistic field helps fill a crucial gap in Bourdieu's model. Both approaches could be improved by adopting a broader view and analyzing effects on news content and form of variations in national journalistic fields (and field configurations) - in particular the organizational/spatial ecology of journalistic competition, and the cultural inertia of professional traditions rooted in contingent historical processes of field formation.",
keywords = "Cross-national comparative research, Field theory, Journalism, New institutionalism",
author = "Rodney Benson",
year = "2006",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1080/10584600600629802",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "23",
pages = "187--202",
journal = "Political Communication",
issn = "1058-4609",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - News media as a "journalistic field"

T2 - What Bourdieu adds to new institutionalism, and vice versa

AU - Benson, Rodney

PY - 2006/7/1

Y1 - 2006/7/1

N2 - Bourdieu's field theory and the new institutionalism of Cook and Sparrow are similar in that they call for a new unit of analysis for journalism studies: between the individual news organization and the society as a whole, the "mezzo-level" interorganizational and professional environment of the field/institution. Bourdieu's focus on competition and difference, rooted in processes of cultural and economic class distinctions both among audiences and cultural producers, supplements the new institutionalist emphasis on homogeneity; moreover, Bourdieu's emphasis on a professional or intellectual autonomy (however limited) of journalists as a collective body, elided in new institutionalist accounts, remains an essential element of any thorough media analysis. Conversely, new institutionalists' greater attention to the state as a partially autonomous influence on the journalistic field helps fill a crucial gap in Bourdieu's model. Both approaches could be improved by adopting a broader view and analyzing effects on news content and form of variations in national journalistic fields (and field configurations) - in particular the organizational/spatial ecology of journalistic competition, and the cultural inertia of professional traditions rooted in contingent historical processes of field formation.

AB - Bourdieu's field theory and the new institutionalism of Cook and Sparrow are similar in that they call for a new unit of analysis for journalism studies: between the individual news organization and the society as a whole, the "mezzo-level" interorganizational and professional environment of the field/institution. Bourdieu's focus on competition and difference, rooted in processes of cultural and economic class distinctions both among audiences and cultural producers, supplements the new institutionalist emphasis on homogeneity; moreover, Bourdieu's emphasis on a professional or intellectual autonomy (however limited) of journalists as a collective body, elided in new institutionalist accounts, remains an essential element of any thorough media analysis. Conversely, new institutionalists' greater attention to the state as a partially autonomous influence on the journalistic field helps fill a crucial gap in Bourdieu's model. Both approaches could be improved by adopting a broader view and analyzing effects on news content and form of variations in national journalistic fields (and field configurations) - in particular the organizational/spatial ecology of journalistic competition, and the cultural inertia of professional traditions rooted in contingent historical processes of field formation.

KW - Cross-national comparative research

KW - Field theory

KW - Journalism

KW - New institutionalism

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33747157655&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33747157655&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/10584600600629802

DO - 10.1080/10584600600629802

M3 - Review article

AN - SCOPUS:33747157655

VL - 23

SP - 187

EP - 202

JO - Political Communication

JF - Political Communication

SN - 1058-4609

IS - 2

ER -