Producing Protest News: An Inquiry into Journalists’ Narratives

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This article examines journalists’ narratives of the constellations of factors that shaped the coverage of the 2011–2012 social protest in Israel, and how journalists used the protest to negotiate their roles, practices, and values against the backdrop of their own professional and economic struggles. Based on in-depth interviews with reporters and editors who were involved in the coverage of the protest movement, this article analyzes journalists’ interpretations and negotiations of the various influences on their work during the two major waves of the protest. An analysis of patterns of collision and concurrence between individual, organizational, and professional domains of influence in journalists’ narratives shows that while the norm of objectivity remains a key site of tension in relation to other factors, considerations of newsworthiness are constructed as complementing and justifying all other types of influence. An examination of diachronic patterns suggests that journalists’ individual conditions and positions play a greater role in journalists’ narratives in the first stage of the protest, giving way to professional values and organizational economic considerations in later stages. Although these findings further complicate the protest paradigm, they also show a dominant pattern of “paradigm repair” at the level of both journalists’ professional ideology and protest coverage.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)410-429
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Press/Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 27 Oct 2014


  • journalism
  • news production
  • social movements

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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