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Calidad Revistas Científicas Españolas
VOL.
25(2)/
2012
Author / María LUENGO Lecturer in Media Theory and Social Journalism. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. School of Humanities, Communication and Library Science. 28903 Madrid
Article / Narrating Civil Society: A New Theoretical Perspective on Journalistic Autonomy

Abstract /

To what extent is journalism autonomous from spheres of power in society? In journalism studies, it is widely accepted that political, economic, and professional interests constrain journalists and frustrate independent reporting. Drawing upon previous research on media independence, this article proposes a set of analytical categories to enrich and strengthen the theoretical argument for journalistic autonomy. The proposed categories are in line with Jeffrey Alexander’s cultural sociology. While interests inevitably influence journalists, from a cultural-sociological perspective any journalistic narrative can be interpreted as indicative of cultural values that transcend particular groups, sections, or parties. The categories proposed in this article are applied to media coverage of the 2004 Madrid bombing to illustrate the way in which media narratives that are strongly overshadowed by ideological power spheres may reflect autonomous cultural values that are common to all civil society.

Keywords /

Theory of journalism, journalistic autonomy, partisanship, ideology, civil society, cultural sociology

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