• Objectivity and Autonomy in the Newsroom: A Field Approach

      Garrett, Paul B., 1968-; Jhala, Jayasinhji; Kitch, Carolyn L. (Temple University. Libraries, 2008)
      This dissertation provides a better understanding of how journalists attain their personal and occupational identities. In particular, I examine the origins and meanings of journalistic objectivity as well as the professional autonomy that is specific to journalism. Journalists understand objectivity as a worldview, value, ideal, and impossibility. A central question that remains is why the term objectivity has become highly devalued in journalistic discourse in the past 30 years, a puzzling development considered in light of evidence that "objectivity" remains important in American journalism. I use Bourdieu's notion of field to explore anthropological ways of looking at objectivity, for instance, viewing it as a practice that distinguishes journalists from other professionals as knowledge workers. Applying notions of field to the journalistic field through anthropological methods and perspective permits the linkage of microlevel perspectives to macrolevel social phenomena. The dissertation demonstrates how qualitative research on individuals and newsroom organizations can be connected to the field of journalism in the United States. Additionally, it offers insight into why journalists continue to embrace objectivity, even as they acknowledge its deficiencies as a journalistic goal.