J-School: Educating Independent Journalists

“If tools could make anyone who picked them up an expert, they’d be valuable indeed.” Plato, The Republic

Revising “The Deprofessionalization of Journalism”

Posted by chanders on February 9, 2006

This semester I’m begining what (I hope) will be my last major revision to "The Deprofessionalization of Journalism", an essay which began as an MA Thesis and then, under the stimulating and productive influence of my readings in the sociology of the professions,  morphed into the draft paper you see linked above. The current (and last?!?) revision will take into account my growing interest in a specific domain of the sociology of the professions– professional claims to expert knowledge– my current (and last!) class on the sociology of expertise, comments from various readers of the previous paper, and a few weeks to refect on the previous draft. With any luck, the latest draft might be publishable (or at least conference-presentable) and might serve as the general theoretical backdrop to my dissertation (ie, Chapter One).

As a side note: I am really starting to feel the need and the urge to put this theoretical mumbo-jumbo behind me and get a plan together to get out into the field and actually start to "find things out." I suppose this is at it should be– a prof. once told me that its easy to get lost in "theory" and eventually you just need to stop thinking and start working.

The (new-ish) outline of my latest draft go something along thse lines (I want to get this outline written before I heavily reexamine my draft so the outline will guide my revisions, rather than the other way around):

A. Introduction

B. Journalism as a Profession and Object of Study
    1. Journalism as a profession (mostly the professional literature itself)
    2. Journalism as an ethnographic domain
    3. Historical perspectives on profession of journalism
    4. New approaches to the journalism profession
        a. Journalism as a field (Benson, et. al.)
        b. Rosen
        c. Singer
        d. Deuze
C. Sociological Perspectives: From "Professions" to "Expert Knowledge."
    1. Functional perspectives
    2. The stuctural / monopoly perspective
    3 . Professions as a claim to expert knowledge
D. Journalism and the Epistemology of News
    1. Does journalism make a claim to expert knowledge?
    2. Erkstrom
    3. Matheson
    4. Lowry
    5. Reexamining journalism and the professions through the "epistemological lens."
E. Avenues for Future Research: tying work into theory


27 Responses to “Revising “The Deprofessionalization of Journalism””

  1. Olaf said

    Excellent paper Chris. If I want to refer to it in a print paper, should I refer this webposting or do you plan to publish it somewhere (off or online)?

  2. Chris said

    Hi Olaf,

    Thanks for the compliment. Feel free to refer to it by its online url, just please put “draft” in the cite when and if you were to cite it.


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