Ritual power : illuminating the blind spot of births, deaths and marriages in news media research

Hess, Kristy 2016, Ritual power : illuminating the blind spot of births, deaths and marriages in news media research, Journalism : theory practice criticism, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 511-526, doi: 10.1177/1464884915570419.

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Title Ritual power : illuminating the blind spot of births, deaths and marriages in news media research
Author(s) Hess, KristyORCID iD for Hess, Kristy orcid.org/0000-0003-3027-7492
Journal name Journalism : theory practice criticism
Volume number 17
Issue number 4
Start page 511
End page 526
Total pages 16
Publisher Sage Publications
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Publication date 2016-05
ISSN 1464-8849
Keyword(s) births
cultural studies
imagined community
local news
media power
media ritual
political economy
rites of institution
Summary This article conceptualises the role and place of the newspaper births, deaths and marriages column in Western societies and its relationship to news media. It identifies the births, deaths and marriages notices as a ‘blind spot’ within journalism and media research generated by powerful cultural norms and conventions shaping the field. This is exemplified by the ‘mythical’ divide between political economy and culturalist approaches to media studies that has created a gap where people’s everyday practices or the social value of ‘commercial’ content tends to be overlooked in discussions about news media. Drawing more deeply from cultural studies and scholarship around media power and rituals, the births, deaths and marriages column provides a compelling unique illustration of the ways newspapers – especially at the local level – continue to be perceived as central to the social in this changing media world. A qualitative research project into the future of small commercial newspapers in Australia provides rich data for exploring these key ideas.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/1464884915570419
Field of Research 190399 Journalism and Professional Writing not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30075592

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