(un)common ground

a commonplace book

Reportage as Social Construction

The news, the incidents and accidents of everyday life, can be loaded with political or ethnic significance liable to unleash strong, often negative feelings, such as racism, chauvinism, the fear-hatred of the foreigner or, xenophobia. The simple report, the very act of reporting, of putting on record as a reporter, always implies a social construction of reality that can mobilize (or demobilize) individuals or groups.

Pierre Bourdieu, On Television (1996)


Narrative cannot be avoided, since mediated communication is bound by structure, which implies selectivity. All news media–right-leaning and left-leaning–can be problematized in their claims to objectivity by this fundamental fact. Narrativization is an inherently political act(?) Or rather, narrative is inherently ideological(?)

This is the fundamental strength and problem with journalism and with history: the structure of “reportage” delimits what are complex, flowing, nuanced series as well as instances of acts, psychologies, structures–and crystallizes them. Is this good or bad?

See also (from http://www.cpb.org/aboutcpb/goals/objectivity/whitepapers/cpb_ConceptualHistory_DvorkinStavitsky.pdf)


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This entry was posted on November 18, 2015 by and tagged , , .
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