The People Have Spoken (The Bastards?): Finding a legitimate place for feedback in the journalistic field

Andrew Duffy, Rich Ling, Edson C. Tandoc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bourdieu’s field theory presents a distinction between the autonomy of a field and the heteronomity of the fields that surround and potentially encroach on it. Journalism is one such field which attempts to maintain its autonomy in the face of change imposed from beyond its boundaries. This paper looks at how the field of journalism responds to two incursions in the form of feedback: quantitative Web analytics and qualitative reader comments. Each offers an opportunity for the field to adapt to incorporate it—that is, turn heteronomous input into autonomous doxa—or to resist it. Based on an ethnography of eight digital newsrooms, it looks at when the voice of the people is accepted as legitimate input and internalised, and when it is resisted as illegitimate and kept external. The implications for further theorising on the relationship between adjacent fields, as well as autonomous and heteronomous aspects of field theory, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1130-1147
Number of pages18
JournalJournalism Practice
Volume12
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • autonomy
  • Bourdieu
  • ethnography
  • field theory
  • heteronomy
  • journalism
  • Web analytics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The People Have Spoken (The Bastards?): Finding a legitimate place for feedback in the journalistic field'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this