“There’s just way more places operating in the same space”: competition and boundary work in Australian and United States political journalism

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Abstract

The previous decade has seen rapid change in political journalism in Australia and the United States, with legacy and emerging news organisations under pressure from interconnected global and local economic, technological and political trends. At the same time, professional journalists’ traditional democratic role providing political news and analysis is challenged by competing sources of political information and new spaces for political discussion. This article traces the ways political journalists in Australia and the US talk about internal and external sources of competition in an age of “information abundance”. It explores how they reclaim authority in the face of the fluid boundaries of journalism itself. The article analyses in-depth interviews with political journalists in Australia and the US, conducted in the second half of 2017. Through the analytical lenses of “boundary work” and “paradigm repair”, it examines the identity discourses through which political journalists seek to place limits on who and what belongs within the professional community of journalists, and defend the core values and practices of that community even while adapting to and in some instances, incorporating elements of, the practices of competitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-335
Number of pages17
JournalJournalism Studies
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Australian journalism
  • boundary work
  • interviews
  • Journalism
  • journalistic authority
  • paradigm repair
  • political journalism
  • US journalism

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