Churnalism, Cultural (Inter)mediation and Sourcing in Cultural Journalism

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Taking a point of departure in theories about cultural (inter)mediation, this article provides a theoretical framework for explaining the pervasion of churnalism within the specialised beat of cultural journalism. Compared to other types of journalists, cultural journalists are “journalists with a difference”, since they are closely intertwined with sources, and public relations subsidies are “structurally embedded” in the beat’s professional rationales. This has intensified with the professionalisation of the culture industries’ media management during the past decades, prompting continuous critique of cultural journalists for not conforming to journalism’s norms of sourcing. However, such critical claims are typically based on the conventional ideologies of Western journalism and often sidestep the distinct nature of this particular beat. These theoretical arguments are backed by a case study of 20 the interplay of the publishing industry and the Danish press in relation to the publicising of the fourth Millennium book in 2015, a sequel to deceased author Stieg Larsson’s successful trilogy from the mid-2000s. This case exemplifies cultural journalism’s inclination towards “churnalism”, and how churnalism may, in fact, comply with the beat’s professional logics. However, it also shows that churnalism can spark critical meta-reflections among journalists on the interplay of the culture industries and the press.
TidsskriftJournalism Studies
Udgave nummer14
Sider (fra-til)2168-2186
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - 2018

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