Images of Essence : journalists discourse on the professional discipline of verification

Authors: Shapiro, Ivor; Brin, Colette; Spoel, Philippa; Marshall, Lee
Other Title(s): Canadian Journal of Communication, Vol. 41 (1), 37–48 (2016)
Abstract: The verification of factual accuracy is widely held as essential to journalists’ professional identity. Our rhetorical analysis of interviews with award-winning and semi-randomly selected newspaper reporters confirms this professional norm while revealing a preference for four types of image to describe verification methods. Spatial and temporal travel images paint verification as an embedded but adaptable heuristic process. Images of conflict suggest verification as a weapon and a shield against implied enemies. Journalists speak of vision both literally as the preeminent tool of verification, and figuratively as a metaphor for interpretation. Meanwhile, a fourth and seemingly predominant image—that of storytelling—functions to integrate the images of travel, battle, and observation and the different forms of professional identity that they connote. The quest for truth through storytelling likewise suggests a rich, if ambiguous, sense of good journalism as combining the instruments of fact with the craft of fiction.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 1 January 2016
Open Access Date: 12 February 2018
Document version: VofR
This document was published in: Canadian Journal of Communication
Canadian Journal of Communication
Alternative version: 10.22230/CJC2016V41N1A2929
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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