Beyond Journalistic Norms: Empirical Lessons on Role Performance in the News
News events with global appeal such as the COVID-19 pandemic, terrorist attacks, mass shootings, plane crashes, and earthquakes are flagship examples of journalistic role performance in action. But so are more ordinary developments like G20 summits, presidential speeches, parliamentary sessions, council meetings, daily crime news, judicial processes, protests, and industry reports. All kinds of news stories and story angles can, at some point or under certain circumstances, serve as exemplars of how the interventionist, loyal-facilitator, watchdog, civic, service, and infotainment roles not only manifest in practice, but also co-exist and interact across and within cultures, topics, types of newspapers, and even single news stories.
In this book, we analyzed how professional journalism roles materialize in print news in different organizational, institutional, and social settings, examining journalistic practice under the umbrella offered by the multidimensional concept of role performance. We have made a case for the ever-changing, fluid, and dynamic nature of journalistic roles, which are activated and deactivated by certain triggers, events, and circumstances, showing the extent to which news stories in a given country exhibit indicators of one or more of them.