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Political Journalists

Thomas Hanitzsch


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Political journalists, viewed through the lens of the editorial organization, are those who report on political affairs or work on the political desk . This perspective foregrounds organizational factors in news production, particularly the division of labor in the editorial process. Typical Anglo-American newsrooms make a functional distinction between news gatherers (reporters) and news processors (editors), but in continental Europe many news cultures have implemented divisions among subject-related editorial departments (such as politics, business, or sports), where journalists function as professional all-rounders with tasks involving reporting, editing, and commenting (→  News Routines ; Political News ). Organizational pressures, especially the cutbacks in financial resources allotted to editorial processes, have left journalists limited, if not inadequate, time to produce a balanced, comprehensive, and contextualized account. Other limitations emanate from the textual constraints of most news formats and from the increased speed of news production through new communication technologies. Consequently, reactive modes of political journalism have gained ground as more proactive approaches have receded (→  Muckraking ; Investigative Reporting ). Reliance upon official sources is particularly pervasive in, but not limited to, news cultures with an authoritative press system ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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