The Complex Core: Perspectives on Journalistic Knowledge and Higher Education

If political theory and political science have, since Hobbes, approached authority by asking the question, “by what right does the sovereign exercise its rule over politically free subjects” we can rephrase this question by asking “by what right do institutions of communication exercise their power to speak on behalf of, and in lieu of, communicatively free subjects, i.e., subjects who can, ideally, speak for themselves? Having posed our questions (who in journalism has authority? why do they have it? do they deserve it?) and defined our terms (such authority is the right to speak on behalf of others, or, in James Carey’s words, to legitimately exercise “a special skill in the manipulation of symbols … to translate the attitudes, knowledge, and concerns of one speech community into alternative but suasive and understandable terms for another community” [Carey 1997, 128]) we can now begin to structure our main argument. Following political theorist R.P. Wolff, our questions can be approached normatively—when, if at all, is journalistic authority legitimate? -- or empirically—how is such legitimacy constructed? I want to spend the majority of the rest of this paper addressing the empirical questions before returning, briefly, to normative questions in my conclusion. Empirically, a researcher can take two possible paths when analyzing the means by which authority is constructed. One can view authority as something granted: by subjects, in the case of sovereign authority, or by the audience, in the case of journalism. Journalistic authority can be viewed for instance, as people’s levels of trust in the media, the degree to which they accept journalistic claims to objectivity, autonomy, or professionalism, for instance. Alternately, authority can be seen as a structural construct that emerges, in part, out of the organization of and competition between various social groups. Under this mode of analysis, journalistic authority

operates largely independently of the audience and is created, lost, or sustained on an organizational and structural level. The construction of a profession, for instance, can be seen as a group driven codification of authority that operates largely independently of the wishes or beliefs of those outside either the profession itself or other key social institutions. Obviously, any ideal social theory of authority would take both perspectives into account. As social research entails making conceptual choices, however, I believe that any analysis that primarily grounds its analysis of journalistic authority on the opinion of “the audience” is doomed-- at best, to failure, and at worst to a shallow kind of success. It would be just as foolish to base our analysis of journalistic authority on the variable fluctuations of audience analysis as it would to attribute public authority to fluctuations public opinion. More is at stake here. If journalistic authority should thus be seen as a structural construct that emerges out of the organization of and competition between various social groups, what more can be said about it? Actually, quite a great deal. Various strands of scholarship have probed the justification and extent of expertise and authority. The sociology of the professions has, since the 1970’s, examined the means by which occupational groups achieve their unique professional status. In the most recent modification to classic professionalization theory, Andrew Abbott of the University of Chicago argues that professions emerge out of a competitive, systemic environment in which a successful “jurisdictional claim” links abstract knowledge to professional work (Abbott 1988). In the field of journalism studies, Wilson Lowrey has adapted this claim to study the relationship between journalism and blogging. Barbie Zelizer, following the lead of sociologist Thomas Gieryn, argues in Covering the Body that journalistic authority is the product of rhetorically created and legitimized boundary construction. Zelizer claims, in Covering the Body and elsewhere, that journalists use narrative to strengthen their position as an

“authoritative interpretive community,” using narrative to both consolidate their “truth-telling” position vis-à-vis other interpretive groups and to maintain internal group coherence. Other theorists, following the lead of Pierre Bourdieu and drawing on concepts like capital, habitus, and, field, have mapped the various relational domains of knowledge, power, and authority that they argue make up the social world (among them what has been called the “journalistic field.”1) A final set of theorists, including Eyal, Fournier, and Larson, have emphasized the distinction between “experts” and “expertise,” contending it is not enough to see the seizure of a field of expert jurisdiction as solely constitutive of the expert; rather, fields of expertise themselves must be partially created through discourse, education, and the alignment of networks (Eyal 2005). Despite the differences in these various perspectives, all four theories view authority as emerging out of the struggles between various groups. Consequentially, all three see the creation and reinforcement of group boundaries—who is “inside” and who “outside” the group-- as a key factor in determining the maintenance of authority. All of them, finally, focus on the importance of expertise in the creation of authority. In plumbing the creation, maintenance, and struggle over journalistic authority, I have sought to fuse the most useful aspect of the arguments above into a coherent theoretical lens. From the sociologists of the professions, I salvage the notion that authority is a structural, occupationally based construct. From Abbott, I take the argument that, rather studying “professionalization” as a general, group defined phenomenon moving towards a steady state, it is better to begin with a focus on work and the manner in which groups seize “jurisdiction” through the linkage of work and abstract knowledge. Following Bourdieu, I modify Abbott’s “system-based” concept of the ecology of the professions, replacing it with a more relationally

1

For instance, see Rodney Benson and Erik Neveu, Bourdieu and the Journalistic Field. (New York, NY: Polity Press, 2005)

defined understanding of the “field of forces” that make up social space. Along with Larson and Abbott, I focus on the importance of expertise-- "it is less productive to work towards a general theory of professions than it is to think of questions which go beyond the professions,” says Larson, “and address the larger and more important theme of construction and social consequences of expert knowledge. Finally, like many of a the authors mentioned above, I argue that fields of expertise are created as much by professional education, discourse, and the establishment of boundaries via a process of actor-network alignment as they are already established domains which exist, so to speak, to be seized by those who want them. In sum: occupational authority rests on the formalization of various forms of professional expertise; at the same time, its possession is highly dependent on the drawing of boundary lines and the creation of border zones. The first point refers to the manner in which expertise itself is negotiated, the second point, to the process by which various groups seek to define themselves as experts, i.e., “seize professional jurisdiction,” or place themselves on a certain side of the insideoutside boundary. We are distinguishing here, following Eyal, between “experts” (relationally defined social groups) and “expertise” (what these groups want to say they have). At the same time, both these processes occur at various places within the “fields of force” that make up the terrain of the struggle over authority (Eyal 2005). For the sake of time, let me simply distinguish now between a process of boundary creation that occurs both at the center and at the margins of the professional field, as well as a discursive and network-alignment process of expertise construction that also occurs at the periphery and within the core. In reality, the struggles of experts and the negotiation of expertise may be indistinguishable. More empirically distinct, on the other hand, may be those processes that occur at the center versus those that occur on the periphery.

Knowledge, Expertise, and Journalism Education

Now, all of this has been highly abstract, so let me begin to tie my theoretical argument into a more specific point about the creation and maintenance of occupational authority. Before plunging headlong into a discussion of journalism, it might be useful, for comparison’s sake, to briefly treat a more classic example of an authoritative profession—the legal profession. At the core of the legal profession lies an educational process, as well as a form of certification that occurs through the granting of the Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, as well as through the more formal mechanism of bar certification. At the core of the law, in other words, we see both the creation and negotiation of legal “expertise” (defined rhetorically through educational curricula and culturally through training in a certain style or mode of thought) as well as the erection of a boundary line between “lawyers” and “non-lawyers” (i.e., those without the necessary degrees). Less noticeably in the law, however, a similar process also occurs on the fringes of the profession. The very “acting out” of legal knowledge in day-to-day work, far from both the classroom and the bar examiners office, itself helps define legal expertise. At the same time, the relationship between lawyers and various “non-core” occupational groups—between lawyers and paralegals; corporate accountants and transactional attorneys; legal professionals and other experts of various kinds (for example, so-called expert witnesses); and, increasingly, between “firm” and “contract” attorneys (in effect, legal temp work) help make the border-line between the inside and the outside of the profession less a sharp line than a fuzzy boundary zone. The dilemma of journalism now becomes clear. Lacking, as it does, the strong “core professional” advantages of a field like the law—without a clearly defined educational

curriculum or even distinct pedagogically enforced style of thought, and, even more importantly, barred by the First Amendment from instituting a formal licensing mechanism-- journalism is largely reliant upon its work in the periphery. Journalistic expertise, in short, is defined on the job. Further, the lack of a clear occupational boundary marker stemming from within the core itself makes the negotiations between journalists and their “competitors” —sources, public relations executives, campaign communications staffers, freelance writers, bloggers, etc-- (in Latourian language, the creation of long chains and obligatory passage points) simultaneously more important and even more fraught. If the legal profession can be seen as a solid core surrounded by a thin border zone, journalism might be viewed as almost entirely border-zone.

Fig. 1

The Law

Journalism

Nearly all border zone … but not quite. After all, a journalistic core can be said to exist despite protestations to the contrary—and if it exists, we are sitting in it. Journalism education marks a limited, but real, mechanism by which the content of journalistic expertise is defined and borders are drawn. Before examining the struggles and mechanisms by which experts and

expertise are articulated on the core, I argue that it might be useful engage in a provisional epistemography of journalism school. At the higher levels of journalism education, what are journalists taught they “need to know” (or, just as interestingly, don’t need to know). What are the styles of thought and “ways of thinking” that are cultivated in journalism school? And how might these forms of knowledge and styles of thought be changing under heavy pressures from the periphery—the emergence of bloggers, diminishing corporate rates of return on media properties, a return to the rhetoric of localism, and shrinking job prospects? The most common description of journalistic expertise, of course, is that there isn’t one, of if there is, it can’t be learned in school. As Kennedy writes:

Journalism [education] suffers from ambiguity of purpose ... the journalism professoriate cannot agree on critical professional content or pedagogy ... The field is also split in regard to what its core courses should emphasize. In a recent survey of journalism educators, Blanchard and Christ (1985) found a variety of approaches to core course requirements for journalism degrees. Some schools required no core courses; some required courses that emphasized the scientific or technical knowledge, topics like news writing and communication law; some emphasized thinking and analysis through case studies or practice "researching" sources; and some provided exposure to issues of social conscience through courses that present journalism in a broader social context. (Kennedy, 17)

Nevertheless, I hypothesize that, although a survey of the self-conception of many journalism programs would demonstrate that both educators and students often explicitly deny the existence of any sort of abstract, expert knowledge towards which they direct their professional claims, such expertise is, in fact, transmitted through J-School. Such an expertise is pre-determined by the existence of the school itself, even if the leading paradigm of professional journalism education continues to take great pains to emphasize its “shoe leather methodology.” The dominant notion of journalism education as craft, rather than as deeply intellectual pedagogy

through which reporters are trained to gain access to truth, renders the problem of journalistic knowledge especially intriguing. What, after all, is an “expertise of non-expertise?” And, if things were merely that straightforward, why would one pay tens of thousands of dollars to obtain this odd expertise? A brief overview of different historical conceptions of journalism education and journalistic knowledge, viewed through the lens of Aristotelian categories of knowledge, reveal a complex and shifting series of justifications for the transmission of journalistic knowledge.

PERSPECTIVES ON JOURNALISM EDUCATION

Philosophers of education, including some journalism educators, have drawn on Aristotelian categories of knowledge-- scientific knowledge (episteme), craft knowledge or art (techne) and practical wisdom (phronesis)-- in order to typologize the forms of reasoning common to professional education (Kemmis 2005; Wilkinson 2005). Theorists of journalism, especially those writing in the early years of the 20th century when schools were being established in universities across the Midwest, debated whether to classify their enterprise as the teaching of a professional craft or a more diverse educational enterprise grounded in the liberal arts. Sociologists of scientific knowledge, for their part, have defined expertise in various ways, with some recent work distinguishing between interactive, translation, contributory, and referred expertise. The “Missouri Model”-- referring to the pioneering skills-based journalism curriculum instituted at the University of Missouri in 1909-- is usually seen as the exemplar of the craftbased mode of journalism education. In 1910, Journalism School Dean Walter Williams wrote

that the “distinctive feature of the school” was its “newspaper, the University Missourian, an evening daily, issued by the students of the school under the direction of the faculty … thus applying the laboratory plan to education for journalism” (Williams 1910, 20) The skills paradigm instituted by Williams at Missouri, and embraced by many of emerging journalism schools affiliated with state universities [CA1](Carey 1978, 848; Sloan 1990, 9), emphasized the acquisition of a form of knowledge known, in Aristotelian terms, as techne-- “art” or “craft knowledge.” Aristotle speaks of techne as the "capacity to make, involving a true course of reasoning.” It is the ability to produce a certain specific object, guided by reason and concerned with “how something may come into being which is capable of either being or not being, and whose origin is in the maker and not the thing made.” The techne of journalism might be envisioned as skill in constructing the “news of the world”-- either in the form of the individual journalistic report (drawing on an understanding of techniques like the lede, the nut graph, the interview, and the “inverted pyramid”), or in the larger form of building a daily newspaper out of a series of single reports. From the perspective of the sociology of professions, one of the ironies of Williams’ 1910 article (and a problem still faced by practiceoriented proponents of journalistic professionalism) is that it proclaimed the advancement of journalism to the ranks of the learned professions while simultaneously placing most of its emphasis on the occupation’s craft components. Other early theorists of journalism, less dependent on the patronage of state press associations and perhaps more sensitive to the dangers of “professionalizing by fiat” (Carey 1978), would place a greater emphasis on grounding journalism schools within the broader domain of an education in the liberal arts. One of these thinkers, Willard G. Bleyer of the University of Wisconsin, argued in 1931 that the special function “of most courses of journalism

is to teach students how to think straight about what is going on in the world at large and how to apply what they have learned to understanding and interpreting the day’s news.” (Bleyer 1910, 39) More eloquent, perhaps, in his definition of the function of journalistic knowledge was Joseph Pulitzer, whose 1904 article, “The College of Journalism,” still serves as the rhetorical touchstone upon which most modern conceptions journalism education are grounded. “What is a journalist?” Pulitzer rhetorically asked:

Not any business manager or publisher, or even proprietor. A journalist is the lookout on the bridge of the ship of state. He notes the passing sail, the little things of interest that dot the horizon in fine weather. He reports the drifting castaway whom the ship can save. He peers through the fog and storm to give warning of dangers ahead. He is not thinking of his wages, or the profits of his owners. He is there to watch over the safety and welfare of the people who trust him. (Pulitzer 1904, 34) For Pulitzer, the professional journalist would serve as an expert in close contact with the public, equally capable of discerning the ‘mood’ of that public as she was of providing the knowledge about the world that citizens needed to be self governing. A school of journalism, wrote Pulitzer, would give the journalist “the wisdom [and] the indispensable basis of knowledge and independence.” (38) To facilitate this wisdom, Pulitzer, like Bleyer three decades later, argued that the journalist must immerse herself in a curriculum that included classes in ethics, law, sociology, history, literature, statistics, language, writing style, science—all specifically tailored to meet the needs of journalism. Via her immersion in an encyclopedic curriculum, the journalist would hone her mind to such a degree that she would come to serve as both the accurate recorder of the public mind and the tribune who would instill in that mind relevant knowledge about the world. This distinction between the “Missouri Model” and the “Wisconsin (or “Pulitzer”)

School” has entered the professional self-conception of journalists. It marks the dominant metaphorical trope by which journalists talk about the tensions in their work, between its’ craft aspects (techne) and a method of knowledge acquisition that Glasser and others in the cultural studies tradition of James Carey (Christians et. al 1993; Rosen 2002; Glasser and Ettema 2007) speak of as a kind of common sense, “practical wisdom,” or, following Aristotle, phronesis. Practical wisdom, writes Aristotle, “cannot be scientific knowledge or art; not science because that which can be done is capable of being otherwise, not art because action and making are different kinds of a thing. The remaining alternative, then, is that it is a true and reasoned state or capacity to act with regard to things that are good or bad for man” (Aristotle 2001, 1026). Phronesis is a kind of common sense knowledge that entails both a claim of reason (what is the best, i.e., the “most rational” action) and a normative claim (what is “the best,” i.e., the “the most good” action[CA2]). Applying this understanding of knowledge to journalism, Glasser argues that journalistic knowledge is neither craft nor abstract expertise, but rather a form of knowledge-inaction in which practical yet complex habits of thought gradually intersect with journalistic behavior to create an experientially grounded category of complex knowledge. Glasser contends that the education of journalists is primarily based in the cultivation of experience, and that any study of journalistic knowledge that ignores the practical experience of journalists misses an important aspect of journalistic thinking. “If we are serious about wanting to know how journalists know what they know,” Glasser argued, “we would be well advised to avoid any 'view of knowledge,' as [CA3]Schon puts it,” that fosters selective inattention to practical competence and professional artistry.” (Glasser 1992, 140). In recent years, some theorists have begun to more explicitly emphasize the relationship between abstract knowledge and journalism. In the debates that raged over the creation of the

Columbia University M.A. in journalism (), for instance, the term “expertise” was specifically and strategically used in the discussions of what the expanded curriculum might accomplish. In the Columbia University "Journalism Task Force Statement,” written by University President Lee Bollinger in the Spring of 2003 to summarize six months of discussion about the future of the most famous journalism program in the world, the word “expertise” was invoked a dozen times in the seven-page document. “Journalism may be moving increasingly to a system in which reporters have an underlying expertise, and to the extent that is true, universities ought to provide opportunities for students to develop that expertise,” Bollinger wrote. Later, he added: “That a journalism school is located within a great university, which houses an extraordinary amount of expertise on virtually any subject, means that it would be an intellectual tragedy not to ensure that students partake of the feast.” () And in the proposal for a two-year journalism program (a proposal that would lay the groundwork for what eventually became Columbia’s 1year M.A), soon-to-be Dean Nicholas Lemann alluded to expert knowledge when he wrote that the paramount purpose of journalism curriculum was to identify and teach “a method of intellectual attack to complex problems that is distinctive to the profession and that, once mastered, will be useful to a student over the long run of a career” (, emphasis added[CA4]). If some journalism theorists have increasingly recognized the importance of expertise in securing a knowledge jurisdiction for the profession, what exactly is the nature of this expertise? One possibility is to categorize journalistic knowledge as part of the larger Aristotelian category of episteme, or scientific knowledge. “What we know through episteme,” Aristotle writes, “cannot be otherwise than it is," and is provable via demonstration. (). A form of journalistic expertise that claimed the mantle of episteme would view journalism as a process via which objective and accurate truth could be obtained about the social world. The function of journalism

school, then, would be to teach the techniques for uncovering this truth, and would function as a domain of knowledge through which journalism educators could ground their training and justify their claims to professional status[CA5]. While there are elements of this view buried in Pulitzer’s 1904 North Atlantic article (“A newspaper never admits that there is anything it does not know. […] The newspaper may know everything.” [Pulitzer 1904. 48]) a more common, and recent, understanding of journalistic expertise can be discerned through a close reading of the planning documents detailing the creation of the Columbia M.A. The expertise recommended in these documents is more in line with what Collins and Evans (2002) have called “translation expertise.” “For groups of experts to talk to each other,” they write, “translation may be necessary. Some people have the special ability to take on the position of the ‘other,’ and to alternate between different social worlds and translate between them” (Collins and Evans 2002, 258). Such an understanding of this specific form of journalistic expertise parallels James Carey’s definition of the professional communicator (the reporter, the public relations executive, the advertising man, the lawyer and the computer programmer) as a person “who controls a special skill in the manipulation of symbols and who uses this skill to forge a link between distinct persons or differentiated groups. A professional communicator is a broker in symbols, one who translates the attitudes, knowledge, and concerns of one speech community into alternative but suasive and understandable terms for another community.” Carey contends that a number of important occupations share a common function insofar as their job is to act as a “broker of symbols.” Indeed, the “major concentration” component of the Columbia M.A. program is designed to turn already experienced journalists into experts-- but experts of a particular kind. Not experts “in journalism,” necessarily, but experts “in the sense of knowing a good deal about a particular

[subject] area.” (Lemann 2003, 7) As noted on the program website, “the Graduate School of Journalism has a Master of Arts degree program that focuses on teaching future leaders in journalism about complicated subjects they might encounter in their careers. Students may select one of the following concentrations: Politics, Arts & Culture, Business & Economics, and Science.” Students in the M.A. program learn a great deal about other subjects (not journalism) under the assumption that absorbing this core knowledge of other fields will make journalists more competent in reporting on these fields. As summarized in a December 2003 Columbia curriculum development session, “journalism schools are moving toward specialization also in subject matter, although not in a comprehensive way. Perhaps five graduate programs offer specialization, due to the passion of one person at each institution.” (2003, 1). There is, in sum, a persistent tension that runs throughout recent discussions of journalistic expertise: tension between viewing expertise as deep knowledge of an outside subject, as translation expertise, or as expertise in the process of reality-discovering “journalism” itself. The various classical conceptions of knowledge, along with the categories of journalistic expertise they most closely parallel, are summarized in the chart below:

3.1 Knowledge and Journalism Classical Definitions of Knowledge
Techne: Craft, art. Skill in the creation of objects (guided by reason) external to both their creator and to “reality.” Phronesis: Practical wisdom. Common sense knowledge involving both practical experience and wisdom learned via action. Usually implies both reason and a normative attitude to “the good.”

Species of Journalistic Knowledge
Craft. The construction of “news” using certain common journalistic techniques, either in the form of individual news items or as omnibus news packages. Complex, non-abstract, non-theoretical understandings of “how to think like a journalist.” Grounded in experience. Involves the absorption of various species of knowledge and a commitment to the social good

Episteme: Science. A form of knowledge that “stands detached from the individual knower; it is ontologically pure in that it posits a world that exists independent of interpreters and interpretations.”

Translation Expertise: The ability to translate the thoughts of a group of experts into the language of non-experts while not sacrificing e truth. The ability to balance Journalistic Expertise: Sees journalism as a process via which objective and accurate truth could be obtained about the social world.

We have now run up against a series of paradoxes. The drive to institutionalize professional schools of journalism education crested at the same time that some of the leading advocates of such programs deemphasized the esoteric nature of their subject of instruction. Such a tactic, however congenial to the press associations and state legislatures upon which these new schools depended for support, cut the ground out from under professionalizing reformers, leading to what Carey has called “professionalization by fiat.” A generous reading of some of the founding documents in the “liberal arts tradition” of journalism education, on the other hand, catches glimpses of a different drive, the drive to ground journalistic craft in a more complex notion of journalistic knowledge—what Glasser and others have called phronesis. More recent discussion have focused on journalistic expertise, though often that expertise is not in “journalism” itself, but rather in an outside field, the mastery of which will enable journalists to become better translators. As many other thinkers make clear, however, it remains difficult to envision any esoteric expertise to which journalistic knowledge can be tied (Glasser x). If journalistic knowledge is pure techne, or techne and phronesis, or, at best, “translation expertise,” upon what ground does journalism’s claim to cultural power rest? Glasser dances around this question, writing at one point that the imbalance between esoteric knowledge and practical application “is not in any important sense an indictment of journalism’s status as a profession,” and adds, in a footnote, that “the lack of a formal and systematic core of knowledge neither denies or contradicts a powerful occupational ethos wedded to the ideals of

professionalism.” (Glasser 1992, 141). But if one component to this ethos is the “wedding” of knowledge and practice, and journalism lacks a core of esoteric knowledge, how does this wedding occur? The exact nature of journalistic knowledge, then, is obviously a matter of deep dispute. Without a clearer understanding of this knowledge, it is difficult to make any final statements about cultural authority claims, or even about exact contours of the border zone between journalists and non-journalists – the results of the previous chapter not withstanding. So what to do? We have reviewed writing about journalistic knowledge—both from educators themselves, and from educational theorists. At this point, it may be productive to observe the actual in-class articulation and deployment of journalistic knowledge itself, using the epistemographic method.

Towards an Epistemography of Journalism Education

Epistemography is a combination of two words: “epistemology”-- the branch of philosophy that studies knowledge; and “ethnography”—a type of research that presents both qualitative and quantitative descriptions of human social phenomena, based on fieldwork. Epistemography, then, “is a description of the organization of what subjects have to know in order to actually do” “x” (in this case, journalism). “Epistemography is not about what is in the subject's mind … it is about shared common knowledge.” (Drouhard 2007) Peter Dear has defined epistemography in relation to science studies; we modify the definition here to incorporate our understanding of how it would relate to the study of journalism

The term "epistemography" is intended to bring some clarity to the discussion by proposing a loose grouping of the most central and characteristic kinds of work currently encompassed by the label "[journalism] studies." The grouping strategy relies on making explicit the following recognition: the field of [journalism] studies is driven by attempts to understand what [journalism], as a human activity, actually is and has been. Epistemography is the endeavor that attempts to investigate [journalism] "in the field," as it were, asking questions such as these: What counts as [journalistic] knowledge? How is that knowledge made and certified? In what ways is it used or valued? "Epistemography" as a term signals that descriptive focus, much like "biography" or "geography." … It designates an enterprise centrally concerned with developing an empirical understanding of [journalistic] knowledge, in contrast to epistemology, which is a prescriptive study of how knowledge can or should be made. (Dear 2001) Pioneering epistemographic work on journalism has been carried out by educational psychologist David W. Shaffer, whose analysis of “Journalism 828,” investigated a capstone practicum in which “newcomers were initiated into a professional community of practice, explicitly designed to forge the links between knowing and doing that are central to the reflective practice of a profession.” Shaffer’s ethnography of the class—to my knowledge, the only one of its kind specifically about journalism education—provides both a methodology that can be replicated and some testable initial findings that would be useful in designing a larger analysis. Data was collected through participant observation, voluntary email collection and analysis, and interviews. Most important for our purposes here, however, is the general theory behind the analysis of “Journalism 828”:

For an expert journalist, ways of doing, being, caring, knowing, and thinking are bound up in an epistemic frame of journalism that guides his or her reflection-in-action as a member of a professional community … to do this I conduct an epistemography of the structure of a professional practicum through the lens of epistemic frames.” (Shaffer 2005).

My own investigation draws on Shaffer’s theory and methodology while expanding the scope of both the project—multiple classes at multiple graduate schools of journalism, along with interviews and curricular overviews—and the theoretical ambition—to relate structures of expertise and knowledge to the creation and maintenance of authority in everyday life.

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