Towards a theory of journalism as practice

Rhonda Breit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The State of the news media survey 2004 has found that journalists in the United States believe “business pressures are making the news they produce thinner and shallower” (Kovach, Rosenstiel & Mitchell, 2004, p. 1). In fact, Kovach et al (2004, p. 2) state that an increasing number of journalists identify economics as their greatest concern, with 66 per cent of national journalists and 57 per cent of local journalists surveyed believing “increased bottom-line pressure is seriously hurting the quality of news coverage”. This paper seeks to provide a theoretical framework which explains this dilemma. The theory articulated challenges views of journalism that conflate journalism with business and media corporations. Drawing on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre (1985, 1994), this paper postulates a theory of journalism that distinguishes between the practice of journalism, the practices of business and advertising and the institution of the media corporation, in an attempt to explain why managers and journalists have different views on journalistic quality. The paper concludes that the future of journalism depends on a return to its core values or internal goods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-85
Number of pages23
JournalAustralian Journalism Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


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