Stephen J. A. Ward

4Epistemologies of Journalism

Abstract: This chapter takes the pulse of contemporary journalism epistemology in light of a fundamental shift from realist to social constructivist epistemologies in the mid-20th century. The first section sketches, historically, how journalists have tended to adopt a common sense realism and empiricism, consistent with realist epistemology. In the early 1900s, this informal approach evolved into a formal, dominant doctrine – professional news objectivity. This flawed epistemology became a doctrine to be overcome. The second section outlines the emergence of several kinds of constructivist epistemologies for journalism, as alternatives to news objectivity. The final and third section re-imagines ...

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