UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Ideological practice in labour news reporting Paulson, Marilee Reimer 1975

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IlffiOLG G I C A L  1. R A O T I C S  by  I'lAxlILZJE fliall-lJlt xvlULSGl-;  B.A.,  A  University  T1LGSI3  THE  of  SUHaGTGD  California,  III  liOTIHa^P.u'S  the  Angeles  I-AR'-DIAI F J L F I U - i a i O ? F O R THIS DEGfLuJS  KAST3R  in  Ios  OF  0?  OF ARTS  Department of  Anthropology  We  accept  reouired  this  and  tiiesis  standard  Sociology  as conforming  to t h e  In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s  thesis  an advanced degree at the L i b r a r y s h a l l I  f u r t h e r agree  for  fulfilment of  the requirements f o r  the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia,  make i t  freely available  that permission  for  I agree  r e f e r e n c e and  f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f  this  that  study. thesis  s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or  by h i s of  in p a r t i a l  representatives.  this  thesis  It  is understood that  f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l  not be allowed without my  written permission.  Department of  A n t h r o p o l o g y and  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Vancouver 8, Canada  Date  August 8, 1975  Columbia  copying or p u b l i c a t i o n  Sociology  Abstract This study of ideology i n the news media a t t e m p t s to d e s c r i b e the ways i n which a p r a c t i c a l a c t i v i t y such as labour r e p o r t i n g i s implicated i n a l a r g e r process of constructing a v i e w o f the world from the p e r s p e c t i v e i n terms o f the enterprises o f t h o s e who  "rale".  and  Ideol-  ogical p r a c t i c e i n t h i s s t u d y i n v o l v e s those o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p r a c t i c e s f o r c r e a t i n g " o b j e c t i v e " news accounts w h i c h i n t r o d u c e a fundamental source o f b i a s from a management perspective.  In Chapter I the s o c i a l context i n which  l a b o u r news a c c o u n t s a r e made i n advanced societies i s discussed.  capitalist  She t r a d i t i o n a l approach to  communications t h e o r y i s c r i t i c i s e d as a means t o d e s c r i b e how  an ins t i tu t i o n a l i ze d o r ""biased" p o i n t o f v i e w i s p r o -  duced.  T h i s approach i s rejected i n f a v o u r o f working w i t h -  i n the framework o f the " s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f knowledge T h i s i s concerned with the u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f how  "factual , n  documented a c c o u n t s a r e c o n s t r u c t e d i n b u r e a u c r a d i c a l l y organised s e t t i n g s .  In Chapter II and I I I we examine  the  p r a c t i c a l work a c t i v i t i e s involved i n l a b o u r r e p o r t i n g at the  " S t a r " , a m a j o r Canadian d a i l y newspaper i n "/estera  Canada.  '%e practices involved i n generating news accounts  and e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e i r f a c t u a l s t a t u s i n an o r g a n i z a t i o n a l l y warrantable manner a t the " S t a r " a r e examined.  i  I n Chapter  I I , t h r e e a s p e c t s involved i n the generation of news accounts a r e v i e w e d , i . e . , those r o u t i n e p r a c t i c e s f o r l o c a t i n g , d e f i n i n g and w r i t i n g ne' s a c c o u n t s . i n which, "events" and  The manner  " f a c t s " are constructed i n these  p r o c e s s e s r e v e a l s t h a t the p r e s u p p o s i t i o n s r e g a r d i n g "Labour" a t t a i n p r a c t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the procedures for p e r c e i v i n g what c o u l d be d e f i n e d as newsworthy. Chapter H I  c o n t a i n s a d i s c u s s i o n o f the methods for  docu-  menting these accounts which express a management p e r s p e c t i v e I n t h e construction of " l a b o u r " .  In t h i s  section,  the f o l l o w i n g p r a c t i c e s are examined f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g the f a c t u a l s t a t u s of an account i n terras o f t h i s r e l a t i o n to labour:  a) the use o f " r e l i a b l e " sources to a u t h o r i z e an  i n t erpre t a t i on;  bj  .eference to "objective"  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n t o guard a g a i n s t " b i a s " ;  standards of  c) how  the  r e p o r t e r ' s o p i n i o n on "the s t o r y " a r e s e p a r a t e d from f a c t s " , and  "the  d) t h e p r o d u c t i o n o f " f a c t s " t h r o u g h consensus.  " e conclude that the o r d i n a r y , r o u t i n e procedures for r e p o r t i n g l a b o u r news  construct a "managerial" conception  o f " l a b o u r " i n t h e media.  The i d e o l o g i c a l p r a c t i c e s for  " o b j e c t i v e " r e p o r t i n g s t r u c t u r e the r e l a t i o n of p e o p l e s ' everyday e x p e r i e n c e s to t h e i r modes of thought about the world.  Tp_is s y m b o l i c mode o f a c t i o n i s one a s p e c t of the  u n e e u a l d i s t r i b u t i o n o f knowledge I n advanced capita l i s t s o c i e t i e s and i s a product o f the r u l i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s reproduce the extant relations o f d o m i n a t i o n under ce.piia l i s m , ii  which  TABLE OP CONTENTS Page Abstract  - " i  Chapter 1: The S o c i a l Context o f t h e News Media  1  1. I n t r o d u c t i o n  ^  2. Gatekeeping Theory  9  3. B r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e news organization  15  Chapter I I , : New P r o d u c t i o n a t t h e " S t a r " ( A ) : G e n e r a t i n g News S t o r i e s  22  1. The Scope o f Labour News  26  2. D e f i n i n g t h e News  30  3. L o c a t i n g News  33  4. W r i t i n g a S t o r y  • 41  Chapter I I I : News P r o d u c t i o n a t t h e " S t a r " ( B ) : E s t a b l i s h i n g t h e E a c t i c i t y o f an Account 54 1. The Use o f R e l i a b l e Sources t o A u t h o r i z e an. Account  56  2. A p p e a l i n g t o an " O b j e c t i v e " Standard o f I n t e r p r e t a t i o n  63  3. The S e p a r a t i o n o f t h e R e p o r t e r from t h e S t o r y  68  4. The P r o d u c t i o n Consensus  69  o f Pacts  iii  Through  Chapter IV: C o n c l u d i n g Remarks  79  F i e l d Notes and sample  84  Appendix.]'-'  Bibliography  87  iv  Acknowledgement  My s i n c e r e thanks t o P r o f e s s o r Dorothy Smith f o r h e r p a t i e n c e and guidance on t h i s s t u d y .  1  CHAPTER 1 THE  SOCIAL CONTEXT OP THE NEWS MEDIA  The  topic  of this  paper i s t h e s o c i a l  o r g a n i z a t i o n o f l a b o u r nev/s r e p o r t i n g a s i t i s done a t the  " S t a r " d a i l y paper i n a Western  In t h i s  s t u d y we w i l l  attempt  Canadian;provinee.  t o d e m o n s t r a t e how t h e  news o r g a n i z a t i o n m e d i a t e s a n d h e n c e  structures the  r e l a t i o n between what h a p p e n s i n t h e w o r l d a n d what i s represented  publicly  i n t h e news a s h a v i n g h a p p e n e d . *  The p r o c e s s i n w h i c h  institutionally  knowledge i s produced i s o f c e n t r a l capitalist  society."'"  c h a n g i n g forms  This  mediated  importance t o advanced  c e n t r a l i t y h a s t o do w i t h t h e  of domination that are exercised by r u l i n g  groups i n the s p e c i f i c  historical  conditions  o f advanced  *The o r i g i n a l work f o r t h i s p a p e r was done f o r a s e m i n a r on t h e S o c i a l O r g a n i z a t i o n o f Knowledge a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia. The c o n c e p t u a l f r a m e w o r k was d e v e l o p e d b y P r o f e s s o r D o r o t h y E . S m i t h a n d many h e l p f u l i n s i g h t s were c o n t r i b u t e d b y K e v i n Busswoo.d, Nancy J a c k s o n , T h i e r r y L e b r u n and S y l v i a Webster.  2  capitalism. the  control  As of  greater  is  available  increasingly  administration their  creation,  of  our  lives  come u n d e r  c e n t r a l i z e d forms of a d m i n i s t r a t i o n  management, d e c i s i o n less  portions  to  m a k i n g p r o c e s s e s become l e s s  individual scrutiny.  d e p e n d e n t on and  the  highly  and  r a t i o n a l i z e d forms  of  underlie  transformation.  i d e o l o g i c a l m y s t i f i c a t i o n which r e s u l t s h e l p s a  and  S o c i a l awareness  s o c i a l processes which  reproduction  and  The  maintain  system i n which knowledge n e c e s s a r y f o r s o c i a l a c t i o n  differentially  d i s t r i b u t e d b e t w e e n r u l i n g and  is  non-ruling  - 2 groups. B o y t e and  Ackerman c o n t r a s t  i d e o l o g i c a l m y s t i f i c a t i o n i n two advanced c a p i t a l i s m  and  In p r e - r e v o l u t i o n a r y world  countries  polarized  from the  legitimacy  o f the  a n t l y undermined. repression class This  In  the  as  the  the  transparent.  i n many  s t a t e was  they maintain,  not  Under t h e s e  as  third  circumstances,  primary instrument  are  -  dramatically  indigenous revolutionary  conditions  of  countries.  were  c a s e , however", u n d e r a d v a n c e d  i n which m a t e r i a l politics  Under these  such cases,  i s necessarily  Cuba a n d  r u l i n g classes  r u l i n g c l a s s and  domination against i s not  t h i r d world  China, Russia,  masses.  effectiveness  very d i f f e r e n t contexts  autocratic  today, the  the  the  significstate of  ruling  movements.  capitalism,  o p p r e s s i v e nor  conditions,  state  are  3 repression rule  i s n o t t h e p r i m a r y means o f c l a s s  domination!  i s achieved f i r s t t h r o u g h ' c o n s e n t ' and a c q u i e s cence, through the c o n t r a d i c t o r y and c o n f u s e d i d e a s ... t h a t l e g i t i m a t e t h e c a p i t a l i s t s t a t u s quo a n d r e d i r e c t t h e h o s t i l i t y and f r u s t r a t i o n s t h a t c a p i t a l i s m c a u s e s away f r o m t h e s y s t e m , towards o t h e r o p p r e s s e d groups.• Popular  understood ruling  as a r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e masses and  capitalism.  explain  tion.  he the  c l a s s i n t h e complex a r t i c u l a t e d s o c i e t i e s o f  advanced to  ' c o n s e n t ' a n d a c q u i e s c e n c e may  Gramsci  used  t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p and  Hegemony c o n s i s t s  the n o t i o n  of  'hegemony'  i t s role i n class  of  an e q u i l i b r i u m between ' c i v i l ' s o c i e t y and ' p o l i t i c a l ' s o c i e t y , between ' l e a d e r s h i p ' o r d i r e c t i o n b a s e d on c o n s e n t a n d ' d o m i n a t i o n ' b a s e d on c o e r c i o n i n the broadest sense. Through c i v i l s o c i e t y , t h e hegemony o f one s o c i a l g r o u p over the whole n a t i o n ( i s ) e x e r c i s e d through s o c a l l e d p r i v a t e organizations, * as t h e c h u r c h , t r a d e u n i o n s o r s c h o o l s .  I n t h e r u l i n g c l a s s we  include  those p o s i t i o n s which are part of that t o t a l complex o f a c t i v i t i e s by w h i c h contemporary c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y i s r u l e d , managed a n d a d m i n i s t e r e d . 'Ihese a c t i v i t i e s a r e d i f f e r e n t i a t e d i n t o many s p h e r e s . Thus t h e r u l i n g c l a s s , as t h e t e r m i s u s e d h e r e , subsumes t h a t w h o l e s e c t i o n w h i c h i n t h e b u s i n e s s w o r l d . l i s c a l l e d -'management' a n d i n government ' b u r e a u c r a c y ' , it i n c l u d e s a l s o t h e p r o f e s s i o n s and t h e work o f t h o s e v/ho t r a i n , ' i n d o c t r i n a t e a n d s e l e c t t h o s e who w i l l be i t s governors",  domina-  namely t h e e d u c a t o r s . I t includes those who p r o v i d e a n d e l a b o r a t e i t s p r o c e d u r e s and d e v e l o p methods o f a c c o u n t i n g f o r how i t i s done a n d h a p p e n s , n a m e l y t h e s c h o o l s of business administratioh, the 'sciences o f economics and s o c i o l o g y . I t includes a l s o t h o s e who c o n c e i v e , p l a y w i t h , a n d s p i n o u t t h e a r t i s t i c forms i n which i t i s expressed, formulated, j u s t i f i e d a n d made n a t u r a l - s e emihg. 1  This  includes  minority  those  "dominant g r o u p s " who c o m p r i s e t h e  o f i n d i v i d u a l s who c o n t r o l t h e d e c i s i o n m a k i n g 6  processes.  The v a r i o u s  diverging i n their interest  segments o f t h i s  specific  i n preserving  group,  while  i n t e r e s t s , have a u n i f y i n g  the structures  o f domination under  7 c a p i t a l i s m and an unchanged economic According  t o Gramsci, t h e forms o f c u l t u r a l  domination a r e as c r u c i a l power.  'Civil'  cultural a  system.  t o c l a s s r u l e as t h a t o f s t a t e  s o c i e t y , o r t h e e n t i r e complex  and p o l i t i c a l  organizations  and i n s t i t u t i o n s i n  p a r t i c u l a r s o c i e t y , must be a n a l y z e d  stand formal ideas  i n order  t h e means t o o b t a i n consensus.' and, s u p p o r t political  leadership  and i n t e l l e c t u a l  o f the s t a t e .  currents  of social",  of c i v i l  to underf o r the  The g u i d i n g society are  i n t e g r a l l y r e l a t e d to the organization of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s and  t h e hegemonic p o s i t i o n o f r u l i n g  groups i n advanced  capitalism. Ihe  process  i n v o l v e s a symbolic  o f g o v e r n i n g modern s o c i e t y  then  mode o f a c t i o n w h i c h s t r u c t u r e s o u r  5 relation  to social r e a l i t y  referred  t o as ' c i v i l  f r o m w i t h i n what  society.  1  T h i s s y m b o l i c mode i s  c o n s t r u c t e d from w i t h i n b u r e a u c r a t i c a l l y settings", e.g. u n i v e r s i t i e s " , m i l i t a r y central is  organized  organizations',  i n t e l l i g e n c e a g e n c i e s a n d newspaper o f f i c e s ' , and  p r o v i d e d i n t h e f o r m o f documented a c c o u n t s , e . g .  newspapers', t e l e v i s i o n " , has  Gramsci  called  t h i s view  a "socially  books.  These r e s u l t  i n what  c o n s t r u c t e d documentary  Smith  reality":  o f the world i s c o n s t i t u t e d i n those s o c i a l l y organized p r a c t i c e s o f r e p o r t i n g and a c c o u n t i n g w h i c h m e d i a t e o u r r e l a t i o n t o 'what a c t u a l l y happens' i n the w o r l d .  In  t h e s e p r o c e s s e s , i n w h i c h i t i s d e c i d e d what w i l l  s a i d about play:  the w o r l d ,  l ) the symbolic  stituted  interpretive  within historically implicitly  which i s con-  c o r r e c t and a d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y  procedures;  these take-place  situated institutional  depend on a n d t a k e  work o f a g i v e n p r o f e s s i o n ; practical  o f phenomena a r e a t  or conceptual l e v e l ,  by o r g a n i z a t i o n a l l y  recognizable  and  two l e v e l s  be  structures  i n the conceptual  frame-  a n d 2) t h e " r e a l w o r l d " o r  organization of l i f e  into ordinary  day-to-day  i n t e r a c t i o n s and s i t u a t i o n s . The  process of governing s o c i e t y  t h e s y m b o l i c mode, w h i c h i s a n a r t i c u l a t i o n interests,  involves using of ruling  as t h e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e " r e a l  world"  6  9 interests ledge of  o f n o n - r u l i n g groups.  i s normally  the world.  settings process which  presented  m, T h i s mode o f know-  as " o b j e c t i v e " p r o t r a y a l s  These a r e documented a s s u c h  i n which they a r e produced.  i n the  The r e s u l t  of this  i s a "documentary" form o f knowledge, a form i n  the world  i s known t o t h o s e who r u l e  it."*"  This  0  i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y m e d i a t e d k n o w l e d g e i s a mode o f k n o w i n g which i s 'fundamental t o the governing superstructures,',(whether o f b u s i n e s s , government, t h e p r o f e s s i o n s o r o t h e r ) . The o r g a n i z e d p r o c e s s e s o f a c t a n d d e c i s i o n which a r e the a c t s and d e c i s i o n s by w h i c h g o v e r n i n g , managing a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , e t c . , g e t done a r e b u i l t u p o u t o f a n d depend upon-, knowledge p u t t o g e t h e r I n t h i s way.' The to  a world  use o f the term i d e o l o g y i n t h i s view which r e p r e s e n t s  who o c c u p y r u l i n g is  a symbolic  relation conceived  contexts The  relation  from a  ideology ruling  I t may be p r o p e r l y  framework w h i c h o p e r a t e s n o t  from t h e c o n t e x t s  i n which i t i s generated  b u t v/hich i s d e p e n d e n t u p o n t h e s o c i a l these  As s u c h ,  o r c o n c e p t u a l mode g e n e r a t e d  to the objects o f the world.  independently  refers  r e a l i t y as i t i s f o r those  positions i n society.  o f as a c o n c e p t u a l  context  organization of  f o r i t s meaning and p r o d u c t i o n . a n a l y s i s o f i d e o l o g y i s concerned  between c o n c e p t  with  and r e a l i t y i n t h e s o c i a l  this  sciences.  7  I t i s therefore u s e f u l to e x p l a i n how that which passes as an "observable" of s o c i a l a c t i v i t y i s used by s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s , and to determine whether these c o i n c i d e w i t h • 12  the r e a l world character of people's a c t i v i t i e s .  This  problem i s e s p e c i a l l y r e l e v a n t to the d i s c u s s i o n of the power of the press.  When conceptual representations no  longer make the r e a l world a v a i l a b l e to  consciousness,  then i t becomes p o s s i b l e to operate s e l e c t i v e l y upon the world, to c o n t r o l i t , and to preserve i d e a l representations • 1^  of those who r u l e .  The fundamental features of s o c i e t y  remain a mystery, and i d e o l o g i c a l representations  prevent  us from viewing t h i s mystery - and the process from which i t has r e s u l t e d - as problematic. P r o f e s s i o n a l news reporters conceptualize the news produced i n v a r i o u s newspapers i n terms of i t s proximity to some c r i t e r i o n of " o b j e c t i v e " r e p o r t i n g .  In  t h e i r own work, r e p o r t e r s a t the Star are p r o g r a m a t i c a l l y committed to r e p o r t i n g what i n t h a t s e t t i n g can be recognized as " o b j e c t i v e " news accounts.  News as such i s  viewed as being f a c t u a l , i.e.', i t i s claimed to report a c t u a l events i n the world and to make them a v a i l a b l e f o r public knowledge.  Nevertheless, union o f f i c i a l s , rank and  f i l e workers and r e p o r t e r s f o r union and underground papers view labour news i n the Star as c o n s i s t e n t l y biased  8 i n the favour of business.  S i m i l a r l y , the"Star reporters  view the coverage of union and underground papers as c o n s i s t e n t l y "biased" i n favour of labour and l a c k i n g the o b j e c t i v i t y embodied i n t h e i r own news. The problem of our study i s to understand how t h i s c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n views i s produced by examining how " b i a s " and " o b j e c t i v i t y " are e s t a b l i s h e d a t the S t a r as routine organizational a f f a i r s .  To do so, we w i l l view  how the a c t u a l o r g a n i z a t i o n of newswork introduces an i d e o l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e i n t o the r e p o r t i n g of labour news. This s t r u c t u r e represents "labour" from a management perspective and therefore from that of the r u l i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s of s o c i e t y . Labour news as i t i s c o n s t i t u t e d i n the "Star" i s an instance of such knowledge which i s presented I n " f a c t u a l " representations of the world.  In order to  analyze t h i s process, we w i l l f i r s t contrast two theore t i c a l perspectives on media " b i a s " and consider t h e i r usefulness i n c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g knowledge and the news: 1) "gatekeeping" theory", which i s the predominant view espoused i n t r a d i t i o n a l communications  literatureand  2 ) the s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n of knowledge, a framework which w i l l be followed i n the d i s c u s s i o n of labour news pro• 15  duction at the "Star".  9 Z. Gatekeeping Theory Without questioning the process i n which s o c i a l "observables" are o r i g i n a l l y c o n s t i t u t e d , media t h e o r i s t s have dealt w i t h what they see as the problem of " b i a s " i n the presentation of those observables.  Previous studies  on b i a s i n the press suggest that i t s existence i s commonplace."^  Bagdikian's  study of 87 news organizations  e s t a b l i s h e d a very high c o r r e l a t i o n between e d i t o r i a l p o l i c y and news bias", w i t h bias almost always f o l l o w i n g p o l i c y set down by the e d i t o r i a l s t a f f .  On the basis of a survey  of over 600 American d a i l i e s , Bowers found that the o r i e n t a t i o n of news i s most a c t i v e l y managed by p u b l i s h e r s , and e s p e c i a l l y on l o c a l matters. Exactly how remains problematic.  o r g a n i z a t i o n a l bias i s i n s t i t u t e d Breed's study of over 120 newsmen-  found that publishers do set news p o l i c y which i s t y p i c a l l y observed by r e p o r t e r s .  Such p o l i c y , however, i s never  e s t a b l i s h e d f o r m a l l y , ' Rather, p o l i c y i s covert due to j o u r n a l i s t i c norms which prevent executives from openly d i c t a t i n g the s l a n t of a news s t o r y .  Learning of p o l i c y  i s achieved, according to Breed, through a process of s o c i a l i z a t i o n i n which the r e c r u i t "discovers and  internal-  i z e s the r i g h t s and o b l i g a t i o n s of h i g status and i t s normss'and values ... so as to win rewards and avoid  10  punishments." 18  Sigelman f i n d s s i m i l a r o r g a n i s a t i o n a l  p r a c t i c e s f u n c t i o n i n g as s t r u c t u r a l forms of control", e.g., recruitment, s o c i a l i z a t i o n and i n working arrangements.  He sees these f u n c t i o n i n g so as to guarantee h i a s  w h i l e a t the same time promoting shared s a t i s f a c t i o n s -19  oetween newsmen and minimizing c o n f l i c t w i t h management.  Both of these approaches f a l l w i t h i n the r u b r i c of "gatekeeping" theory o f news production which has been the dominant s o c i o l o g i c a l perspective on the subject. Because of the inadequacies of t h i s conceptualization", gatekeeping theory i s unable t o e x p l a i n important aspects of the news production process.  Pishman's c r i t i q u e of the  theory of "channels and gatekeepers" i n i t s a p p l i c a t i o n t o news o r g a n i z a t i o n s points out some of the d e f i c i e n c i e s i n " 20  t h i s approach.  Based on a comparison to the patterned  movement of goods through " s o c i a l channels" gatekeeping theory views news i n i t s patterned movement through "news channels", the channels o f communication.  I n t h i s schema,  the e s s e n t i a l s t r u c t u r a l elements of communication are the message and the news channel", v/hich i s comprised of a sender and a r e c e i v e r , the communicator and the audience. Along the channel are a s e r i e s of gatekeepers (reporters and e d i t o r s ) who have the r i g h t t o open o r close t h e i r gates to messages t h a t are transmitted. *  Bias in t h i s  11 context  i s s e e n t o be i n s t i t u t e d  o f t h e newsmen's g a t e . by  by the opening o r c l o s i n g  Their a c t i v i t i e s  " d i r e c t e d f o r c e s " w h i c h , when a p p l i e d  izational tional  are controlled i n formal  terms, c o n s i s t o f the f o l l o w i n g :  organ-  the organiza-  s e t t i n g i n w h i c h t h e newsmen work ( i n c l u d i n g  sanctions',  deadlines  and other  men's o r g a n i z a t i o n a l r o l e s norms,*' g o a l s  and v a l u e  c o n s t r a i n t s ) " , a n d t h e news**  (formal  and informal";" including s  orientations) motivating  their  -22  actions.  Fishman's c r i t i q u e gatekeeping theory: selection and  centres  on two p r o b l e m s i n  l ) the e x c l u s i v e  focus  on t h e  o f " f a c t s " and " e v e n t s " i n t h e o u t s i d e  2) t h e v a g u e n e s s  of the point  message i n t h e "news c h a n n e l " .  world;  o f o r i g i n o f a news  The b a s i c  problem i n f o c u s -  i n g e x c l u s i v e l y on t h e s e l e c t i o n f u n c t i o n o f newsmen i s that world  i t has as i t s s t a r t i n g assumption t h e e x i s t e n c e  o f raw d a t a w h i c h i s i m m e d i a t e l y t r a n s l a t a b l e i n t o  news u p o n d i s c o v e r y  by t h e f i r s t  Gatekeeping theory newsmens-' p e r c e p t i o n essentially their  of a  communicator.  i s s i m i l a r i n this respect to  of their  own a c t i v i t y  a sociological elaboration  own work.  because i t i s  o f how newsmen v i e w  Both s t r e s s the f u n c t i o n o f s e l e c t i o n o r  r e j e c t i o n o f f a c t s which  exist  '.'out  there"  by t h e r e p o r t e r *  Newsworthy e v e n t s § r e t r e a t e d a s phenomena w h i c h a r e already  w o r k e d up^ o n l y  t o be d i s c o v e r e d  by the r e p o r t e r  12 and  communicated t o t h e p u b l i c .  and  events are c o n s t i t u t e d  This implies  that  p r i o r t o t h e newsmens-  activity  1  of  w r i t i n g a s t o r y and r e c o g n i z i n g a n " e v e n t " o r a  as  such.  This  - people's  talk,  activities  To s a y t h a t a  divergence of value orientations w i l l  ignoring reporters  a n d documents  i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e s e - w h i c h do n o t c o m p r i s e  a l r e a d y f o r m u l a t e d news s t o r i e s . or  "fact"  "raw m a t e r i a l " c o n s i s t s * , however, o f some  domain o f e v e n t s produced  facts  result  o r r e c o r d i n g o f t a l k and events i m p l i e s play a very passive role  however," t h i s  bears  convergence i n the that  i n writing a story;  l i t t l e resemblance  to t h e i r  actual  "23 work. its  What i s " p a s s e d  original  form  on" i s c o n s i d e r a b l y a l t e r e d  from  i n t h e t a l k o f source people and i s  s i m p l y not e x p l a i n e d by t h e n o t i o n o f a g a t e . The  second  problem w i t h gatekeeping theory i s  not u n r e l a t e d t o t h e f i r s t ^ of  a news m e s s a g e ?  to  be o b v i o u s who  news" i s f e d i n t o source o r i g i n a t e s . news s o u r c e  an event  In g a t e k e e p i n g the f i r s t  of o r i g i n  t h e o r y , i t i s assumed  gatekeeper  i s , where t h e "raw  t h e news c h a n n e l , a n d where t h e news However", t h e p o i n t  of origin  of a  ( t h e sender) as opposed t o a g a t e k e e p e r i s  n o t so e a s i l y or  i . e . what i s t h e p o i n t  distinguishable:  what i s c o n s i d e r e d a f a c t  depends g r e a t l y o n a d e t e r m i n a t i o n w h i c h must  be made f r o m w i t h i n t h e news o r g a n i z a t i o n .  What  may  13 become n e w s w o r t h y , f o r example, may is  issued  or the  is  decided  act  of i s s u i n g i t ;  b y t h e newsman. T h i s  what h i s r o l e r e a l l y i s , t h e event  or  make t h e A  the  first  in  the  Star  troversial headlined 12%  Offer.  made by  previous contract  as  first  to by  follows: M e r e l y by  there  tract leader  and  a fact  which i s newsworthy to  the  question  communicator o f  of a highly  ratification  IWA the  leaders  The  Considering  this  i s not  con-  how  marks,  "terrific"  such.* self  newsworthy o r f a c t . conceptually  but  the of  con-  the  What i s t o evident  was  "Terrific"  statement i t s e l f ,  perhaps even the motives  be  printed  story  a d d i t i o n of quotation the  v/ill  explicit.  the  or event i s not  o p e n i n g o f ones g a t e  an  t h a t was  32,000 w o o d w o r k e r s .  o f knowledge w i l l  of  illustration  and  o r g a n i z a t i o n a l work i n d e t e r m i n i n g p r e c i s e l y how object  that  a union o f f i c i a l  f o r c h a r a c t e r i z i n g i t as  t r e a t e d as  statement  r o l e s more  i s reason to question  r e a l l y was,  a  A simple  two  what becomes newsworthy i s n o t that  leads  gatekeeper?  e q u i v o c a l i t y of the  s t a t e m e n t was  be  be require  and  which  The  adequate to  asses  process.  The u n i o n o f f i c i a l i n v o l v e d c o m p l a i n e d t o t h e e d i t o r t h a t t h e p a p e r was b e c o m i n g a p a r t y t o t h e i s s u e o f c o n t r a c t r a t i f i c a t i o n b3r c h a n g i n g t h e i n t e n d e d meaning of h i s statement. One r e p o r t e r commented t h a t p u t t i n g quotes around " t e r r i f i c " suggested t h a t the u n i o n l e a d e r s h i p was t r y i n g t o cram a n o t - s o - t e r r i f i c c o n t r a c t down t h e w o r k e r s ' t h r o a t s .  14  Hence, we communications ation  to  theory  simply  that  traditional  adds t h e o r e t i c a l s o p h i s t i c -  the newsmens' v i e w s o f t h e i r work, and  perspective  i s inadequate f o r c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g  construction it  have m a i n t a i n e d  o f news a c c o u n t s .  i s necessary to  consider  To  the  elucidate  socially  be  p r a c t i c e s and  e x a m i n e d as  such  a  establish warrant  the  important are  o b j e c t i v i t y o f an  i t s status  as  context  routine  'knowing' must  generation  of  from i n t e r v i e w s " S t a r " and  labour  s t o r i e s which appeared i n  w e r e made i n the  from-two g r o u p s : other  l ) the  newsroom o f t h e  workers and  oriented  (union  two  and  labour the  e d i t o r s and  the  m a t e r i a l was reporters,  "Star";  "labour"  the  2)  reporters  at the  on  gathered  the  city  several  labour  f o r worker The  "union" reporters  reporters  The  major  a n a l y s i s i s done  underground) papers.  r e f e r r e d t o as the  Interview  newsmen a t  leaders,  them f r o m  have  observations,  :  of f i e l d n o t e s .  e d i t o r and  s t u d y , we  from. 30 h o u r s o f  C o l u m b i a d a i l y n e w s p a p e r and  basis  be  In t h i s  therefore  u n i o n n e w s p a p e r s o v e r a f o u r month p e r i o d .  observations British  and  those p r a c t i c e s which  a c c o u n t and  "fact".  gathered such i n f o r m a t i o n  will  process,  accounts. Especially  the  this  social  this  The  procedures f o r  s o c i a l m e d i a t i o n i n the  the  organized  i n w h i c h a documented a c c o u n t i s p r o d u c e d . institutional  that  second  group  to d i s t i n g u i s h  "Star".  15 3.  B r i e f D e s c r i p t i o n of* t h e " S t a r " The " S t a r " i s a l e a d i n g newspaper i n Western  Canada.  There i s one o t h e r major d a i l y paper i n t h e c i t y  w h i c h i s owned by the same c o r p o r a t i o n as t h e " S t a r " . The two newspapers a r e housed i n t h e same b u i l d i n g and use many o f the same o p e r a t i n g ing  production  stories.  facilities,  such as p r i n t -  equipment and a l i b r a r y o f p a s t news  The Board o f D i r e c t o r s o f t h e c o r p o r a t i o n w h i c h  owns t h e " S t a r " a p p o i n t s the p u b l i s h e r . r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the operation  The p u b l i s h e r i s  o f the paper and has t h e  f o l l o w i n g p e o p l e d i r e c t l y under h i s d i r e c t i o n :  Assistant  to the p u b l i s h e r , a d v e r t i s e m e n t d i r e c t o r , c i r c u l a t i o n d i r e c t o r , promotions manager, e d i t o r i a l d i r e c t o r and managing d i r e c t o r .  The paper r e c e i v e s revenues l a r g e l y  from the s e l l i n g o f a d v e r t i s e m e n t space t o companies  and  i n d i v i d u a l s , as w e l l as from customer s u b s c r i p t i o n , w h i c h exceeded 250',000 i n May o f 1975. Formal D e c i s i o n Making and t h e l a b o u r  Story  News s t o r i e s a r e w r i t t e n i n the newsroom, where the managing e d i t o r and h i s a s s i s t a n t a l s o have t h e i r offices.  The managing e d i t o r s u p e r v i s e s  the  production  o f news, and has the f o l l o w i n g e d i t o r s under h i s d i r e c t i o n : F i n a n c e , Sports", Photography, F e a t u r e s , l i v i n g Today, C i t y Nev/s, and News E d i t i n g .  The E d i t o r i a l D i r e c t o r works  16 with is  t h e M a n a g i n g E d i t o r a n d h i s a s s i s t a n t , however", he  responsible  i n the paper. assistants,  f o r the e d i t o r i a l A l l o f these  material  which  appears  e d i t o r s h a v e one o r more  a copy e d i t o r and r e p o r t e r s  under  their  direction. labour  news r e p o r t i n g  i s supervised  by the C i t y  E d i t o r a n d h i s a s s i s t a n t s , a s i s genera.! news on t h e l o c a l scene', e . g . c o v e r a g e o f p o l i t i c a l happenings', news, e t c . The t y p i c a l two  labour  reporters  career  follows  of a story written  assistant requires  city  evening, and s e t s  cutting  of part  assistant sent  gives  give  to the night  appraisal.  be p a s s e d  on t o t h e news  appear', e . g . m o r n i n g ,  afternoon,  The s t o r y i s t h e n p a s s e d  o f the story.  final  t o t h e Copy  e d i t i n g and p o s s i b l e  The News E d i t o r o r h i s  the f i n a l approval of a story before i t i s  t o t h e c o m p o s i n g room t o be s e t i n t y p e .  point  If i t  stamps t h e page a n d e d i t i o n  i t a headline,  E d i t o r may o v e r r u l e this  i tw i l l  be  a t e n t a t i v e s i z e allowance f o r t h e head-  and the s t o r y .  E d i t o r who  A story w i l l  (or at night,  the s t o r i e s ,  the paper i t w i l l  line  editors.  e d i t o r ) f o r an i n i t i a l  e d i t o r who r e a d s of  editor  no r e w r i t i n g ,  by the  t h e same c o u r s e o f a n y o t h e r  news s t o r y h a n d l e d by t h e c i t y turned i n t o the c i t y  medical  decisions  i n the process.  The C i t y  made b y t h e News E d i t o r a t  The M a n a g i n g E d i t o r h a s t h e  f i n a l w o r d on w h e t h e r a s t o r y  goes t o p r e s s o r n o t .  17 In a d d i t i o n  t o these  channels o f d e c i s i o n  making, a morning conference i s h e l d it  i s d e t e r m i n e d what s t o r i e s w i l l  page o f t h e f i r s t  and second p a r t s  other s p e c i a l items a r e discussed. individuals attend  t h i s meetings:  ing  E d i t o r , t h e Hews E d i t o r ,  the  Assistant  Wire E d i t o r ,  e v e r y day i n w h i c h  he p l a c e d  on t h e f r o n t  o f t h e paper and any The f o l l o w i n g the Assistant  the Assistant  News  ManagEditor,  C i t y Editor', t h e Photography E d i t o r , t h e and the f i r s t  and second p a r t  front  page  editors. A l t h o u g h most s t o r i e s a r e t r e a t e d processes  outlined  i n the formal  above, t h e r e a r e v a r i a t i o n s  model"," d e p e n d i n g on t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s .  on t h i s  Two s p e c i a l  c u m s t a n c e s were s u g g e s t e d h y t h e r e p o r t e r .  cir-  One w o u l d  involve  l a b o u r s t o r i e s phoned i n a t t h e l a s t m i n u t e .  a story  could  (the  city  be s u p e r v i s e d  or written  by the c i t y  e d i t o r and h i s a s s i s t a n t s ) " , placed  Such  desk  immediately  by  t h e News E d i t o r " , f o r example, on page one, a n d a p p e a r  in  t h e next  e d i t i o n t o be p r i n t e d .  w o u l d be i m p o r t a n t b u s i n e s s reaction  offered  stories", e.g., b u s i n e s s  t o t h e f e d e r a l budget", w h i c h ' a p p e a r s o n page o n e .  In such case, as  A n o t h e r example  the finance  soon as the i n f o r m a t i o n  e d i t o r s would w r i t e  the story  was made a v a i l a b l e , a n d i t  w o u l d go i m m e d i a t e l y t o t h e Hews E d i t o r  for final  editing.  18 On  the l a b o u r beat,  standard e d i t i n g  and  a r e commonly p r o d u c e d the night reporter's  stories w i l l  placement  process, unless  by b o t h r e p o r t e r s . s t o r i e s may  be  o r r e w r i t t e n by t h e day r e p o r t e r . w o r k e d on t h e l a b o u r b e a t directs  tures  i n which  I we  I I and  I I F , we  I I I we  to the  t o the  the  city  socia.l struc-  i n d e f i n i t e ways.  In  organization  examination  from the o r i g i n a l  to events.  of those practices r e s p o n s i b l e " i s s u e s " i n t o news.  In  e x p l o r e how  objectivity  i s warranted  processes  for establishing  the f a c t u a l  status  account.  Chapter  summary.  A sample o f t h e f i e l d n o t e s  appendix.  job  However,  "Star" which i s d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d  f o r g e n e r a t i n g "events" and Chapter  that  d i s c u s s the s o c i a l  the p r o d u c t i o n of l a b o u r s t o r i e s I I i s an  has  informally  " f a c t u a l " accounts are produced  o f newswork a t t h e  Chapter  edited  paper).  stories  have argued  our knowledge o f t h e w o r l d  Chapters  i s f a i r l y new  their  cases,  completion.  In Chapter contexts  submit  they  day r e p o r t e r  than a year a t t h i s  normally"", b o t h r e p o r t e r s desk d i r e c t l y upon  completed, The  the  In s u c h  f o r seven y e a r s and  t h e n i g h t r e p o r t e r , who  (he has w o r k e d l e s s  follow  i n the  o f a news  IV c o n t a i n s c o n c l u d i n g r e m a r k s i s located  and i n the  19 FOOTNOTES 1  For a d i s c u s s i o n of the fundamental r o l e of i d e o l o g y i n modern c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y , see Dorothy E . Smith's "The S o c i a l Construction o f Documentary, R e a l i t y " S o c i o l o g i c a l Inquiry*") V o l . 44', no. 4", 1974', P. 257-268.""" i n  2  Smith,' p. 258.  3  Boyte', Harry and Ackermah, Frank', "Revolution and Democracy",* i n S o c i a l i s t Revolution, p. 60", 1974.  4  Gramsci", Antonio, L e t t e r s from Prison', lynne lawner", translator", Harx>er~and Row", P u b l i s h e r s , New York", 1973", p. 42.  5  Smith, Dorothy E., "Women, The Family and Corporate C a p i t a l i s m " published i n M. Stephenson, editor,.. Women i n Canada', Newpress, Toronto, 1973', p. 50.  6  Mueller, Glaus',' The P o l i t i c . i s of, Communication", Oxford"!, U n i v e r s i t y Press,' New York, 1973, p. 88, footnote.  7  Mueller'," Clause, The P o l i t i c s of Communication", p. 88.  8  Smith,' p. 257  9  Smith",' p. 262".  10 Smith, p. 257. 11 Smith'";' p. 257'. 12 Smith ," Dorothy E.',' "The, Ideological:.Practice o f .. Sociology" i n Catalyst'. Winter 1974', no. 8", p. 42. 1  13 Smith'," p. 41. 14 Fishmah, Mark,' "The Production of Media News: How Newsmen Create S o c i a l Facts" chapter,,!, unpublished d i s s e r t a t i o n Department of. Sociology", U n i v e r s i t y o f California", Santa Barbara", p. 2. 15 Smith',' "The S o c i a l Construction of Documentary R e a l i t y " . 16 Bowers'^ David R., "A Report on A c t i v i t y by Publishers i n D i r e c t i n g Newsroom Decisions"... Journalism Quarterly, 4 4 : 43-52, and Bagdikian, Ben H.', ^We ""Poll t i c s "of" American Newspapers". Columbian Journalism Rgview 10:  20  17  Breed", Warren, " S o c i a l C o n t r o l i n t h e Newsroom" Mass Communi cat ions', W i l b e r Schramm', e d i t o r , U n i v e r s i t y o f Illinois'""'-Press, Urbana, 178-197.  18  Breed',' p. 182.  19  S i g e l m a n , " R e p o r t i n g t h e News: An O r g a n i z a t i o n a l . , A n a l y s i s " American J o u r n a l o f S o c i o l o g y , V o l . 79", J u l y 1973;' 132-57.  20  Pishman, p. 3  21  Schramm', Gordon", "The Gatekeeper: a memorandum on Gatekeepers, and t h e T r a n s m i s s i o n o f I n f o r m a t i o n " i n Schramm'- op. c i t . " , p. 175.  22  Pishman,' pi 4.  23  Pishman, p. 5.  21  CHAPTER I I  NEWS  PRODUCTION AT THE "STAR" ( A ) : GENERATING NEWS ACCOUNTS  The  "Star" reporters  own work a s t h a t  and e d i t o r s view  o f "reporting"*, o f g a t h e r i n g  their  t h e news  o f t h e w o r l d and communicating i t i n a s a c c u r a t e a n d u n b i a s e d manner a s p o s s i b l e . ment  Their professional  commit-  t o r e p o r t i n g t h e f a c t s o b j e c t i v e l y assumes t h a t  exists  an o b j e c t i v e l y present  there  world"," w h i c h we a l l  -1 e x p e r i e n c e i n more  o r l e s s t h e same w a y s .  Their  cedures f o r r e p o r t i n g a i m a t a communication which torts  as l i t t l e  a s p o s s i b l e what  prodis-  exists p r i o r to t h e i r  work o f l o c a t i n g a n d w r i t i n g u p " t h e news".  I n d o i n g so",  newsmen a d o p t t h e " a t t i t u d e o f e v e r y d a y l i f e " ' ,  The o b j e c t s  of t h e e v e r y d a y w o r l d axe t a k e n t o e x i s t i n d e p e n d e n t l y o f the  mode o f i n q u i r y a d d r e s s e d The  t o them.  a p p r o a c h t o nev/s p r o d u c t i o n  begins by suspending t h i s assumption.*  i nthis  paper  News i s v i e w e d  * 'Notef -fr'or t h e p u r p o s e o f t h i s s t u d y , we do a s s u m e / t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a n o b j e c t i v e l y p r e s e n t world," however", we a r e s u s p e n d i n g t h e b e l i e f t h a t t h e o b j e c t s o f knowledge e x i s t as t h e y a r e c o n s t r u c t e d i n t h e nev/s room.  22  instead  as a s o c i a l  a product  p r o d u c t i o n " , w h i c h depends on a n d i s  o f the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l context i n which i t  originates.  This study attempts  i z a t i o n a l l y warranted to mediate  and  t o show how  mode o f i n q u i r y a t t h e  hence s t r u c t u r e  the r e l a t i o n  the  organ-  "Star" serves between  "what h a p p e n s " i n t h e w o r l d a n d what i s r e p r e s e n t e d publicly  ( f o r anyone to r e a d ) as h a v i n g happened i n t h e  f o r m o f "news".  Therefore, i n this  those o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p r a c t i c e s  c h a p t e r we  directly  t h e p r o d u c t i o n o f l a b o u r news s t o r i e s events.  P a r t i c u l a r l y , we  p r a c t i c e s which e s t a b l i s h account  and  from  t h e r e f o r e warrant  i n t h e newsroom, i  the  we  tional  this  i s an  examination  p r a c t i c e s which  not others. objective  i t s s t a t u s as  those  "fact".  to c o n s t r u c t  are not attempting  construction.  c r e a t e one v e r s i o n  context  as an  c a n be  social proper  the w o r l d i n t h a t  the o r g a n i z a t i o n p r o v i d e s a  i n which events  and  event's  as a  I t i s t h e r e f o r e d e p e n d e n t on t h e  That is",  happened".  of r e a l i t y  R a t h e r , news i s v i e w e d  o r g a n i z a t i o n a l methods f o r i n t e r p r e t i n g setting.  to  of the routine o r g a n i z a -  NewsworthineBS i s n o t v i e w e d  features.  with  original  p r o v i d e a n a u t h o r i t a t i v e v e r s i o n o f "what r e a l l y Rather,  on  " o b j e c t i v i t y " o f t h e news  I n s t u d y i n g t h e methods u s e d accounts  concerned  are concerned w i t h the  focus  p e r c e i v e d and  social  d e f i n e d as  23  h a v i n g happened.  This  context  i s provided  organizational practices f o r creating These r e c o n s t r u c t are  defined  the v/orld i n t o  f o r i n the  "objective" accounts.  "public events" which  as m e a n i n g f u l and a s s i g n e d  significance i n  3 that  context. This  d e f i n i t i o n o f news, however, i s d e t e r m i n e d  i n d e f i n i t e ways b y t h e g o a l s a t i o n was o r i g i n a l l y  established.^  t h e methods u s e d t o c o n s t r u c t the  organization's  ized  priorities.  exist  f o r w h i c h t h e news This  i s true  "public  due t o t h e p r a c t i c a l  because  news a c c o u n t s a r e a p a r t o f  e f f o r t s t o a t t a i n i t s own Thus,  organiz-  institutional-  e v e n t s " , i n t h e news,  purposes they serve  f o r the  5 organization are  part  the  facts.  itself.  of this  The methods u s e d t o c o n s t r u c t  e n t e r p r i s e and so i s t h e f i n a l  I n t h e b u s i n e s s press', i n t o news i s p a r t is  to present  The frame o f r e f e r e n c e  a category i s constructed  serves  this  latter  of c a p i t a l i s t  i n which  o f v/hich  enterprises.  reporting.  "labour"  a t t h e " S t a r " i s one v/hich  purpose", i . e . , t h e o n g o i n g  news e x p r e s s e s t h i s of labour  the goal  of facts  t h e p u b l i c v / i t h t h e nev/s f o r t h e p u r p o s e o f  making a p r o f i t . as  version of  the o r g a n i z a t i o n  of a larger operation,  events  pre-  functioning  "Objectively" r e p o r t i n g the  structure o f relevance  i n the context  24 The labour  news c o n f r o n t s  addressed  i n the  sequential the  p r a c t i c e of  one  course  p r o b l e m s w h i c h must  o f r e p o r t i n g and  be  which are  con-  f o r t h e manner i n w h i c h news i s d e f i n e d .  hand, the  material  two  "objectively" reporting  processes which are  events l e a v i n g m a t e r i a l  or t r a f f i c  accidents.  reported  "graces ,  like  ,r  They a r e m o s t l y  i n v o l v i n g t a l k , t a l k about  t a l k , and  resulting  from these,  Hence,  strikes.  not  o i l spills  organizational  processes  e.g.  are  On  activities  reporters  1  " m a t e r i a l " i s l a r g e l y t a l k about t a l k , or a c t i o n which taken place  in talk.  The  themselves confronted  i s that  with d i f f e r e n t versions  w h i c h must be w o r k e d up "what must be  r e s u l t of t h i s  i n t o an  they  of  authoritative version  U n i o n and  "taking  becoming p a r t i e s to version  management a r e  i n contention.  "objective" reporting,  problem o f not  of  a c t u a l l y happening".  subject matter.  to  find  reality  Furthermore, i t i s c o n f l i c t which i s t h e i r  opposing sides  has  o f what i s a t  they are  sides".  the  Since  i s s u e and  represented  reporters  are  presented with  They must a v o i d  c o n f l i c t . T o do what t h e  main  committed the  bias  so, you  as  and  need  " f a c t s " are  a  on  * The o r g a n i z a t i o n a l e t h o s c o n c e r n i n g t h e l a b o u r r e p o r t e r s ' r e l a t i o n t o t h e e d i t o r s a s w e l l as t o t h e i r own work i n v o l v e s two m a i n t e n e t s : l ) the r e p o r t e r enjoys a s t a t u s o f autonomy v i s - a - v i s t h e e d i t o r s i n t e r m s o f e d i t o r i a l control", censorship', e t c . , 2) t h e r e p o r t e r i s c o m m i t t e d to. n e u t r a l i t y , o r " o b j e c t i v i t y " i n h i s r e p o r t i n g , i . e . , k e e p i n g ones o p i n i o n s o u t o f t h e s t o r y p r o v i d i n g b o t h s i d e s o f a c o n f l i c t , w i t h documented facts', i m p a r t i a l l y . 1  25  which both s i d e s w i l l  be  i n agreement  overall  p r o b l e m becomes one  version  of  (more o r l e s s ) .  of a r r i v i n g at a  "what a c t u a l l y h a p p e n e d " i n an  The  consensual  impartial  and  w a r r a n t a b l e manner. The sensual tional  reporters  version  chapter,  text  of the  we  Defining  the  practices  will  nev/s;  (a)  The  scope of l a b o u r  for creating  "beat" to  scope o f l a b o u r  l o c a t e d from w i t h i n the to v/ritten  or  of labour by  generating  a  see  story.  that  the  produce  o f management. structured  since reporters  nev/sroom and  do  i s therefore  The by  not  labour.  This  related  f r o m a management p e r s p e c t i v e .  be  those  treatment known a b o u t  "events" that are The  be  confined  made a v a i l a b l e by  a b o u n d a r y on w h i c h c a n  labour  (b)  i n v e s t i g a t i v e work", nev/s must  administering  constructs  will  d e f i n i t i o n o f v/hat i s  w r i t i n g news a r e  spoken i n f o r m a t i o n  g r o u p s m a n a g i n g and  con-  news;  (d) W r i t i n g  nev/s", we. w i l l  "Further, do  In  sections  "objectivity" systematically  f o r d e f i n i n g and  have a normal  organiza-  i n the  following  ( c ) l o c a t i n g news;  t h i s frame of r e f e r e n c e ,  ful  Ihe  news i s made f r o m t h e y p e r s p e c t i v e  practices  "it"  correct  con-  "objective" accounts.  a t another level*, i . e . , the  labour  the  examine t h e s e p r a c t i c e s  process:  examining the  to produce such a  e v e n t s by u s i n g  work o f r e p o r t i n g .  deal with this  bias  able  practices for creating  this  By  of  are  practices  meaning-  which  26  provide  for this  s t r u c t u r i n g i n the d e f i n i t i o n  are  examined i n t h i s  1.  The Scope o f L a b o u r News  o f "news"  chapter.  B o t h i n i t s p r e s e n t a t i o n a n d t h e way i t i s defined', l a b o u r those i.e.  i s t r e a t e d as i t becomes s i g n i f i c a n t t o  groups managing and a d m i n i s t e r i n g i t i n t h i s business  owners a n d management  government agencies',  officials,  context,  groups', t h e courts",  e t c . The s c o p e o f t h e news  is  p r i m a r i l y confined to the f o l l o w i n g categories of  as  these  present  production of  practical  p r o b l e m s t o management:  stoppages or t h r e a t s t o . t h a t e f f e c t ,  such occurrences  to business  actual  the costs  a n d t h e consumer",  t i o n s w h i c h s e t t l e ' . ' t h e s e p r o b l e m s and l e g a l  negotia-  disputes  management a n d l a b o u r i n v o l v i n g government a g e n c i e s figures.  Thus, we  it", i n o f f i c i a l immediate individual then, as  s e e l a b o u r a s management must  contexts  conflicts  and o f f i c i a l  as the agent o f c o n f l i c t .  disruptive  i n the otherwise  confront  conflict",  L a b o u r news",  and c o n f l i c t  i t c a n be s e e n f r o m a management p e r s p e c t i v e ,  labour  and  s o l u t i o n s f o r an  enterprises.  i s p r i m a r i l y concerned w i t h  between  actions dealing with  demanding p r a c t i c a l  o r group o f b u s i n e s s  events  with  l a b o u r i s d e f i n e d as  normal flow o f "business  as  u s u a l ".^ T h i s s t r u c t u r i n g o f t h e news r e s u l t s  i n the  27 exclusion  of c e r t a i n categories  o f events and coverage  of a large  segment o f t h e work f o r c e n o t i n c l u d e d  definition  o f labour  native  as u n i o n i z e d  i . e . , non-union  and immigrant workers, p e n i t e n t i a r y workers, e t c .  One u n i o n l e a d e r excluded  from  s u g g e s t e d some o f t h e c a t e g o r i e s  discussion,  e.g., the m a j o r i t y  ments v/hich n e v e r go t o s t r i k e , activities  o f organized  establishment public  labour,  i n the  labour  day-to-day  on b u s i n e s s  office.  s u c h c o v e r a g e i n i t s own  s e c t i o n o f t h e paper from t h e p o i n t representatives',  political  u n i o n i n v o l v e m e n t on  committees and m u n i c i p a l  B u s i n e s s does r e c e i v e  of s e t t l e -  such as working f o r t h e  of social legislation,  boards,  o f events  o f v i e w o f i t s own  i . e . , t h e y a r e a l l o w e d t o speak as  concerns without  t h e comment o f l a b o u r .  experts For  example, D u n c a n - b a s e d Doman I n d u s t r i e s l t d . s t o c k i s recommended a s "an e x c e l l e n t v e h i c l e f o r c a p i t a l a p p r e c i a t i o n over the longer term" i n a r e v i e w o f t h e company b y Pemberton Securities l t d . Por 19,600, M a d i s o n Avenue o f f e r s a t w o day c o u r s e f o r . e i g h t i n how t o d e a l v / i t h t h e nev/s m e d i a , a n d p l a n s t o b e g i n o f f e r i n g a s i m i l a r p r o g r a m o n how t o a c t b e f o r e a c o n g r e s s i o n a l committee.  Space becomes a c o n s i d e r a t i o n is  when t h e s t o r y  w r i t t e n up because o f t h e p r o b a b i l i t y that  depth,  s t o r i e s v / i l l be s h o r t e n e d .  In part  lengthy, i n  this  i s due t o  28 the  fact  that labour  p a p e r as  do  other  has  areas  no  s e c t i o n of  o f i n t e r e s t , e.g.,  suburbs, gardens, business. s t o r i e s must be throughout first, in  paper.  s t o r i e s on  order  this  the  fitted  to  For  this  i n with general  labour  are  influences a reporter  o f t e n cut i s room on  reason,  of r e c o r d i n g  of which l i m i t s ation", e.g., the  the  cost  labour  news a s  i n the  i t appears  This  the  significant  space l e f t  of l i v i n g  e v e n t s w h i c h l e a d up  laid  layout  a page.  to keep i t b r i e f ,  r e s u l t i n unused work.  the  sports,  room  in  depth  spatial considers  f a c t s , the  the  inclusion  over f o r "background"  increases,  out  Indirectly,  as  l i m i t a t i o n i s e s p e c i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t when one necessity  in  Because a d v e r t i s e m e n t s a r e  f i t where t h e r e  p o r t r a y a l s can  i t s own  inform-  company p r o f i t s ,  to a happening that  or  i s treated  as  news. , it  Examples o f t h e  were t r e a t e d  profits, receive examples  living  This might i n c l u d e  conditions,  unemployment, e t c . regular  would r e c e i v e i f  i n a s i m i l a r manner t o b u s i n e s s  found i n u n i o n papers. w o r k i n g and  coverage labour  the  can  be  discussions  e f f e c t s of  inflation,  Such t o p i c s o f d i s c u s s i o n  c o v e r a g e i n u n i o n p a p e r s as  of  the  do  following  illustrate: The C a n a d i a n l a b o u r C o n g r e s s c o n v e n t i o n i s o v e r a n d the. l a b o u r p o l i t i c i a n s h a v e had t h e i r d a y ... What t h i s w i l l do i n t e r m s o f b u i l d i n g a s t r o n g e r , more m i l i t a n t a n d e f f e c t i v e l a b o u r movement i s v e r y d o u b t f u l to say the l e a s t .  29  I t ' s simple: w i l l the people of B.C. and t h e p r o v i n c e g e t a s h a r e o f t h e huge w i n d f a l l p r o f i t s from i n f l a t e d m e t a l p r i c e s a n d the m i n i n g i n d u s t r y out o f their irreplaceable natural resources? S u c h c o v e r a g e is- a r o u t i n e m a t t e r i n u n i o n p a p e r s where e v e n t s a r e ongoing s t r u g g l e s to  organize,  health  and  and  end  t o h a r a s s m e n t by  the  cost  of l i v i n g  the u n d e r l y i n g  treated labour  i n the  the  job," a  v i e w e d as of  business  or  Identified",  provide be  the  industries,  As  actions.  of  Conflicts  " d i s r u p t i v e " but  conditions  well",  consider-  explanations  are  Sf  rather  the than  by  ongoing p r o f i t a b i l i t y  of  two  on how  reporters  perspective  do  newsworthy e v e n t s not  claim  the  newsworthy: p u b l i c " , e.g.,  public services;  to  are  represent  of i t s p a r t i c i p a n t s .  categories", r e s p e c t i v e l y , of  i d e n t i f i e d as  i n d u s t r y and  etc.  an  consumers.  from t h e two  living,  ongoing s t r u g g l e s  e f f e c t s on t h e  Vftien q u e s t i o n e d  labour  the  movement f o r b e t t e r l i f e  emphasizing t h e i r  of  worker p r o d u c t i v i t y are  attention i n their  context  the  p e o p l e , e.g.",  management, s p e e d ups',  not  of  j o b p r o d u c i n g economy,  rationales for labour's  w i t h management a r e  context  f o r a decent standard  and  a t i o n s which r e c e i v e  i n the  problems o f working  to f i g h t  s a f e t y on  discussed  They  events which  can  l ) those which a f f e c t s t r i k e s i n the 2)  the u n u s u a l ,  major the  extra-  30  o r d i n a r y " , e.g.,  s e t t l e m e n t s and  industries,  i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s i n p o l i c y and  people,  and  e.g.,  at  the  of  events,  unusual,  and  i n the p u b l i c  "Star" predominantly i . e . , coverage  i n d u s t r y and  as  officials  i n government  eye.  idealized  l a b o u r nev/s  f o c u s e s on t h e f i r s t  category  of labour's a c t i o n s v i s - a - v i s  t h e consumer.  These s t o r i e s a r e  extraordinary", u n i t a r y  episodes  strikes  events.  treated  They a r e n o t  as seen  i n a c o n t i n u i n g movement as t h e y a r e i n u n i o n  "underground" papers.  become t o p i c a l  The way  i n v/hich t h e s e  events  depends on t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f work and i t s  c o n s e q u e n c e s f o r t h e c h a r a c t e r o f what i s r e p o r t e d . 2.  D e f i n i n g t h e Hews The  a matter reporters  definition  o f haA^ing then  o f what i s "nev/s" i t s e l f  t h i n g s happen  describing  work w i t h an u n d e r s t a n d i n g and  scan the w o r l d  w o r k e d up  into  them.  "out t h e r e " w i t h Reporters  and  the  editors  o f what a news s t o r y i s l i k e  t o l o c a t e what i s h a p p e n i n g  "news".  i s not  that  can  be  S i n c e r e p o r t e r s v/orking f o r t h e  " S t a r " must h a v e h a d  p r e v i o u s e x p e r i e n c e v/orking f o r o t h e r  b u s i n e s s nev/s p a p e r s ,  this  their  as  f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h what c o n s t i t u t e s a nev/sworthy  s t o r y a t the those  s t o c k o f knowledge, as w e l l  " S t a r " , p r o v i d e s them w i t h t h e  stories  industries,  t o be  covered,  an i n c o n v e n i e n c e  typicality  of  i . e . , disputes i n v o l v i n g major to the average  citizen  due  to  31 a  strike,  leads  f o r example.  i n c l u d e the  Some examples o f a c t u a l  story  following:  More t h a n 9,900 B.C. T e l e p h o n e Company e m p l o y e e s r e f u s e d t o report f o r work today", f o r c i n g s u p e r v i s o r s t o man the s w i t c h b o a r d s and s e v e r e l y . . c u r t a i l i n g r e p a i r s and i n s t a l l a t i o n s . MacMillan Bloedel's s t i l l s h u t down.  Pacific  sawmill  is  B i l l K i n g a g a i n a p p e a r e d as t h e f r i e n d and s u p p o r t e r o f t h e t r a d e u n i o n s T u e s d a y , b u t he w a r n e d them a g a i n s t s t a g i n g t o o many s t r i k e s . One given  types  recognize stories  of s t o r i e s that appear i n the  i n order  i s not  t h e n i n w h i c h news i s d e f i n e d  what i s news i s by  appropriate it  way  to get  i n the  reading  the i d e a  future.  As  Star.  reporter  newsworthy t h a t w o r k e r s i n a  e t c . , as  such:  t h u s newsworthy a b o u t s u c h a fit  the  context  organizational notion that  "News", e.g.  can  be  Not in  this  being  be  commented",  conditions,  i s nothing  s t a t e of a f f a i r s . of a  news  "story * with 1  recognized  I t must a  able  proper defining  made a v a i l a b l e t h r o u g h by  the  t h e news team.  or w i l l i n g to  fashion r a i s e s questions  suffer  '"new" and  s e e n t o be m e a n i n g f u l t o t h o s e  a c t i o n t a k e n and  p r o p e r c h a n n e l s as  there  to  p a r t i c u l a r company  a r e underpaid", work u n d e r u n s a f e w o r k i n g from i n f l a t i o n ,  as  How  appropriate  o f what w o u l d  one  is  cover a l l the  about the  news  competence o f  a  32  reporter on  the  of the  and  his  labour  reporters, He  expected  of him  editors.  but  and  Not be  o n l y was  considered  this  considered  the  t o be  f o r l o c a t i n g news, g e t t i n g t h e  f a c t s ' , and  d o c u m e n t i n g t h e s e f a c t s so  to given  In t h i s  "gatekeepers", but t y p i c a l ways o f what r e p o r t e r s standards, i n g , and  account.  i n the  recognizes  t h e i r attempts of reporting at  to p o r t r a y the  v/rote  of the  alike, about  labour of  as  "Star".  "significant" to warrant  narrow sense.  at  the  the subject  be v i e w e d For  "Star" accord  professional  reporters the  as  organizational  e d i t o r s may  "getting i t f i r s t " ,  a d d r e s s e d by  editors  editors participate i n  connection,  doing things  e.g.,  are  only  "biased"  These p r a c t i c e s a r e  l i m i t a t i o n s v/hich t h e  establishing.  by  editors.  i s d e t e r m i n e d depends on  o f a nevm  on  s t o r i e s deemed  procedures  objectivity  and  struggles  those  one  inadequate  reporters  important  to  stories  j o b d o n e " b e c a u s e he  than covering by  wrote  typical  considered  b e l o w ) by  t o be  immediate r e l e v a n c e How  he  "ohjectively"  case, according  newsman who  h i s work v/as  " g e t t i n g the  movement r a t h e r  the  cover a l l of the  treated  he v/as n o t  what he  T h i s was  of a previous  d i d not  (which w i l l  commitment t o r e p o r t i n g  scene.  labour.  the  own  as  the with  journalistic  "objectively" reportand  news g i v e n  editors alike i n the  circumstances  33 3.  Locating  ^ews  How the  reporters  Although  This  scanning  takes place  that  r e p o r t i n g a t the Star,  the v a s t  majority  the "beat", i . e . r e p o r t e r s  news.  For this  reason^  written materials within  i . e . , exigen-  and  f o r what g e t s d e f i n e d  a s news. t e r m s , t h e news  constrains  the reporters  resources,  i . e . , two l a b o u r  deemed i m p o r t a n t .  are f i v e .  These r e s t r a i n t s  f o r t h e ways i n w h i c h news i s l o c a t e d  In t h e b r o a d e s t  by the f a c t  that  reporters,  organization there  are limited  f o r covering  a l l the  T h i s may be compared, f o r example  who w r i t e Covering  f o r t h e b u s i n e s s s e c t i o n where " a l l t h e news" p l a c e s  demand o n t h e two r e p o r t e r s leave  d o n ' t go o u t a n d l o o k f o r  a n d what t h e y c a n l e a r n f r o m t a l k , b o t h  consequential  there  o f t h e i r work i s n o t done  t h e newsroom a n d on t h e t e l e p h o n e .  the reporters  content",  t h e y a r e e x t r e m e l y d e p e n d e n t on  are  news  i n the  i s b e c a u s e o f t h e many l i m i t a t i o n s p l a c e d  o f time, space, requii-ed s t o r i e s and s t o r y  w h i c h inean  to  by  " s c a n t h e w o r l d " t o l o c a t e what c a n be w o r k e d  the job of labour  cies  on  on how t h e s e may be c a r r i e d o u t .  i n t o news, most o f t h i s  newsroom. on  i s determined i n part  procedures f o r l o c a t i n g i t and the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l  limitations  up  news i s d e f i n e d  that  such a  they are r a r e l y able to  t h e newsroom t o i n v e s t i g a t e a p o s s i b l e  "lead".  34 Locating  nev/s t h e n i s a p r o c e s s v/hich t a k e s  newsroom and available  depends on  i n that  i n the  recognize strikes the  mium", t h e s e anything local the also  portion of t h e i r  sense t h a t  Because the  pre-selected  else.  s t o r i e s are  reporters  reporter listen  himself  to a l o c a l  nev/s and  able  reporter's  written  any  the w i r e s e r v i c e s  the  story.  The  r a d i o nev/s s t a t i o n t h a t  i s pressure as  stories that  a  reporter  "don't have f i l e "  are  broadcasts  on  reporters the  labour  management g r o u p s .  summaries o f l a b o u r  these  source. kinds",  t o a n t i c i p a t e v/hich i s k e p t t o show  him  missed.  E d i t o r s and written materials  on t h e  before  editors  many a s s i g n m e n t s o r i g i n a t e f r o m t h i s  there  u n i o n and  before  included  and  any  involving  covered  c a t e g o r y w o u l d be by  of  t i m e i s a t a. p r e -  b u l k o f t h e i r work c o n s i s t s o f s t o r i e s o f  be  to  coverage  The  these w i l l  pre-  i n d u s t r i e s , disputes  reported  had  are  e.g.,  s t o r i e s must be  Under t h i s  s t o r i e s which are  labour  the  largest local  government.  the  v/hich i s made  what i s t y p i c a l l y r e q u i r e d " ,  i n the  in  context.  A great selected  information  place  a l s o l o c a t e nev/s i n scene d i s t r i b u t e d  These i n c l u d e  government l a b o u r  u n i o n and  management communiques t o o f f i c i a l  by  employer  r e l a t e d news", u n i o n p a p e r s ,  releases,  various  p u b l i c a t i o n s , inquest  press reports,  agencies  35 s u c h a s t h e Workmen's C o m p e n s a t i o n Board', e t c . The information  made a v a i l a b l e f r o m t h e s e s o u r c e s  do n o t  c o n s t i t u t e a " s t o r y " i n t h e raw f o r m .  I t must f i r s t  s e l e c t e d by the e d i t o r s or r e p o r t e r s ,  "checked out",  w r i t t e n up i n t o a s t o r y . place  i n the course  l o c a t i n g news may a l s o  o f c h e c k i n g out a p o s s i b l e  Thus", a s o u r c e p e r s o n may be a b l e  t o provide  w i t h a " t i p " on a c u r r e n t h a p p e n i n g o r  he and  take  story.  the r e p o r t e r  soon-to-materialize  s t a t e o f a f f a i r s w h i c h may q u a l i f y a s a s t o r y . Whether a s t o r y t h a t h a s b e e n l o c a t e d a  s t o r y may be d e t e r m i n e d b y t h e r e p o r t e r ,  ferral cussion an  between t h e e d i t o r a n d r e p o r t e r ,  for  school  vote to s t r i k e .  and  of information,  submits i t to the e d i t o r .  that  interested;  In t h e case o f  engineers i n the  e.g., t h a t  simply  t o know* t h e they d i d n o t  I n one s u c h  story  s t o r i e s may  of a f f a i r s i s  example", t h e r e p o r t e r  i f they don't strike", however, t h i s  types up the s t o r y  Other p o s s i b l e  discussion t o decide i f a state  newsworthy o r n o t . stated  dis-  I n s u c h a case", no c o n f e r r a l i s n e c e s s a r y  the e d i t o r and t h e r e p o r t e r  require  or through  s y s t e m , a l l t h a t may be r e q u i r e d  s t o r y i s one p i e c e  with  con-  d a y - t o - d a y coverage',  example, a slowdown b y t h e o p e r a t i n g  public  through  w i t h a s o u r c e p e r s o n on t h e p h o n e .  ongoing event which has r e c e i v e d  i s really  the "Star's" not d i d become news b e c a u s e  36 the  editor f e l t  i t was  important  Both o f t h e s e t y p e s issue  of a  strike  w o r t h y s t o r i e s by  and  enough t o r e p o r t  of s t o r i e s centre  were e a s i l y  e i t h e r the  identified  reporter  some c a s e s , h o w e v e r , v/hat B. p o s s i b l e may  be  more d i f f i c u l t  phone c a l l s  or  around  as  t o e s t a b l i s h and  may  Workmen's C o m p e n s a t i o n B o a r d , t h e  official  coroner's inquest  t o d e t e r m i n e what t h e  judgements h a d between the over the  a union l e t t e r  t o be  made a b o u t m a t t e r s  u n i o n and  phone and This  s t o r y v/as  the  company and  several  "happening".  consulted  C o m p e n s a t i o n Board*, a  In  require  case, i n v o l v i n g mine s a f e t y ,  relations officer,  news-  editor.  example, i n a  public  the  to  reporter company  the  report  Workmen's and  a  a l l about. of  p r o c e s s whereby  union's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f events i s "checked out"  the  p r o p e r a u t h o r i t i e s and  reporter  looks  labour's  account', e.g.', one  of  f o r an  by  b e f o r e i t becomes  forthcoming,  the  a l t e r n a t i v e s t o r y base t o v/hich  Several  the-editor.  example i s i n d i c a t i v e o f t h e  When s u c h v a l i d a t i o n i s n o t  union  contention  the  news.  Por  t h e s e were a l l made  i n consultation with  validated  the  s t o r y i s a l l about  t o d e t e r m i n e what i s r e a l l y  the  on.  "explain"  d i s c r e d i t s the  actions  labour. The  issue  o f m i n e s s a f e t y was  first  recognized  37 a s one f r o m a u n i o n p a p e r and  a letter  t o t h e Workmen's C o m p e n s a t i o n B o a r d  t h e company w i t h i l l e g a l l y accident  carrying the headline  of several  A c c o r d i n g t o t h e reporter", the u n i o n f e l t  in  i n t o working  o f l a y o f f when b l a s t i n g  air  (which  had  been a l l e g e d  these  t h e company was  under dangerous c o n d i t i o n s  the union  gas fumes were s t i l l  claimed a r e d i f f i c u l t  that  circumstances.  had been k i l l e d  The u n i o n  that a "cover up" had  t h e subsequent  widows on t h e g r o u n d s t h a t judged  felt  under  the facts to  The u n i o n was a l s o  d e n i a l o f pensions  com-  to the  f a c t o r s u n r e l a t e d t o work w e r e  ( o n t h e b a s i s o f t h e company i n v e s t i g a t i o n ) t o be  p r i m a r i l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the deaths. appealed refused  It.  s e y e r a l miners  t h e Workmen's C o m p e n s a t i o n B o a r d . p l a i n i n g about  i nthe  to detect).  b e e n p e r p e t r a t e d b y t h e company b y d i s t o r t i n g  The u n i o n ha.d a l s o  t o t h e mines m i n i s t e r t o i n t e r v e n e b u t h a d been any a i d by him. The  claiming that  company d e n i e d i n t i m i d a t i n g blasting  t h e workers",  gas i s e a s i l y d i s c e r n i b l e  was p r e s s u r e d t o work when i t was p r e s e n t .  t h e company c l a i m e d t h e y were w i t h i n t h e i r l e g a l in  miners.  o r d e r t o i n c r e a s e p r o d u c t i o n , i . e " , t o resume work on t h e  threat  one  charging  e x c l u d i n g t h e u n i o n from a n  i n v e s t i g a t i o n i n t h e deaths  i n t i m i d a t i n g miners  "Murders"  carrying  a n d no Further, rights  out t h e a c c i d e n t i n v e s t i g a t i o n without t h e  38 aid  o f t h e union", a n d t h a t no " c o v e r u p " h a d  "Their i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f v/hat was r e a l l y that  offjurisdictional  a campaign t o u n s e a t The  of  f i g h t s ' , a n d v/as t r y i n g t o drum the current  t a l k i n g to s e v e r a l sources  This  of the information  He c o n s u l t e d  C o m p e n s a t i o n B o a r d a n d was g i v e n was n o t l e g a l l y accident also  given  consulted  gathered.  i s limited i n his t h e Workmen's  the opinion  that  the union  the '"right to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e  investigation.  The c o r o n e r ' s  inquest  r e p o r t v/as  a n d i t i n d i c a t e d t h a t v/ork r e l a t e d  were n o t p r i m a r i l y r e s p o n s i b l e reporter  minister.  o n t h e phone and d e c i d i n g  c a s e d e m o n s t r a t e s how t h e r e p o r t e r  investigative abilities.  of  mines  l o c a t i o n o f t h e a c t u a l s t o r y v/as t h e r e s u l t  v/hat v/as t h e i s s u e i n l i g h t  The  g o i n g on v/as  t h e u n i o n v/as " m u c k r a k i n g " t o b u i l d u p i t s image a n d  stave up  occurred.  stated that  factors  f o r the deaths o f the miners.  v/hat v/as r e a l l y a t i s s u e v/as a c a s e  " o v e r k i l l " b y t h e u n i o n a n d t h a t he d i d n ' t know why  overreacted  as they d i d .  H i s s t o r y i n a " n u t s h e l l " was  t h a t t h e Workmen's C o m p e n s a t i o n B o a r d t u r n e d request tions  (for prosecution  didn't  they  down t h e  o f t h e company)', a s t h e r e g u l a -  c l e a r l y allow  union p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n accident  investigations. The to unseat  final  story stated  the current  that  mines m i n i s t e r  t h e u n i o n was t r y i n g over  this  affair  39 and  discussed  the d e t a i l s o f the inquest  'were d i s c u s s e d  verdicts.  i n t h e c o u r s e o f t h e s t o r y i n terras o f  w h e t h e r o r n o t t h e d e a t h s were c l e a r c u t to warrant court.  compensation  The i s s u e  to i n c r e a s e in  should  enough-legally  t h e s e cases by brought t o  o f mine s a f e t y a n d company i n t i m i d a t i o n  production  the f i n a l v e r s i o n  a n d " c o v e r u p " were n o t  o f t h e nev/s.  were i n t e r p r e t e d i n l i g h t as  These  the l a r g e r issue  Rather,  represented  these  o f what t h e r e p o r t e r  i n v o l v i n g the union's  concerns represented  "real"  motivation  f o r m a k i n g a l o t o u t o f t h e mine s a f e t y p r o b l e m , o r a s t h e reporter  put i t , a case o f " o v e r k i l l " by the S t e e l w o r k e r s . This  illustrates  story i s located reporter e.g.,  i n the process  of investigating i t .  whether o r n o t b l a s t i n g gas i s e a s i l y  from w i t h i n learned  so.or n o t .  t h e nev/s p a p e r o f f i c e from t a l k .  Further,  the l e g i t i m a c y  e.g.,  the courts,  light  t o determine  could concern  and t o t h e i r  agencies  faith  concerned,  jury", t h e Workmen's  s a t i o n Board", t h e s t o r y v/as d e f i n e d mented e v i d e n c e  on v/hat  due t o t h e p a p e r ' s  of the appropriate the inquest  discernable,  R a t h e r , he w o r k s  and r e l i e s  v / i t h v/hat c a n be s a i d t o be so l e g a l l y , in  The  does n o t go o u t and i n v e s t i g a t e v/hat was h a p p e n i n g ,  or whether the miners f e l t  be  t h e p r o c e s s b y v/hich a n a c t u a l  on t h e b a s i s  Compeno f docu-  "what a c t u a l l y h a p p e n e d " i n  o f (what came t o be s e e n a s ) t h e u n i o n ' s  political  40 purposes. In l o c a t i n g and d e p e n d e n t on w r i t t e n  and  d e f i n i n g news, r e p o r t e r s verbal  communication w i t h  coimnurtitjr o f r e l i a b l e  sources to  what i s n o t .  not  do  an  in  the  used the  They do  on t h e  spot  mines.  to t e s t t h i s  claim  do  background s i t u a t i o n .  " a u t h o r i t i e s " who of  n o r m a l l y go  u n i o n makes a not  "what h a p p e n e d " .  The  i n t o the  say,  claim  working  The  means  further inquiry into  f a c t u a l status  union's  to  conditions  "Murder!"  involve  and  field  They i n v o l v e r e f e r e n c e  warrant the  the  d e f i n e what i s news  i n v e s t i g a t i o n of,  The  are  claim  of a  to  various  version  to p a r t i c i p a t e i n  7 its  d e f i n i t i o n was  specifically ruled  News a b o u t l a b o u r meaningful to e.g., the  t h o s e g r o u p s m a n a g i n g and  as  i t becomes  administering i t ,  company p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s  These c h a n n e l s a r e u s e d t o written  and  dition,  e.g.,  what c a n  be  determine i f a  s a i d t o be  true.  h a z a r d o u s mine c o n d i t i o n s ,  official  i t , i.e', i n o f f i c i a l  actions.  By  "Murders'!" i n t h i s way, intended  to  t r e a t i n g the the  and  coroner's  officials,  office.  s t o r y can An  be  ongoing  con-  company i n t i m i d -  o n l y becomes t o p i c a l as management and  must c o n f r o n t  are  i s then defined  Workmen's C o m p e n s a t i o n B o a r d , t h e  ation',  out.  government  contexts  relating  original  change  to  of  i n v e s t i g a t o r y procedures  which  e s t a b l i s h "what r e a l l y h a p p e n e d " p r o d u c e  41  an  account which d i s c r e d i t s ' the u n i o n v e r s i o n because i t  lacks  official  documentation.  These i n v e s t i g a t o r y and i n t e r p r e t i v e p r o c e d u r e s allow  f o r the concerns of labour  their  ongoing s t r u g g l e  better living the in  context  Writing  of "labour"  a  c o n t r o l i n the workplace,  a s management  confronts  i t ,  i.e',  Story defined  i n the process  o u t above', t h e emphasis  of writing  the m a t t e r a t hand s u b s t i t u t e s  on  t h e b e a t t o i n v e s t i g a t e v/hat c o u l d  ered  a story.  Gathering  f o r a c t u a l l y going out  rather  also  be  required  considto write  between u n i o n and  involves verbal reports,  comments, e t c . ,  t h a n g o i n g o u t on t h e " b e a t " t o i n v e s t i g a t e .  r e p o r t e r has d e c i d e d  much o f h i s t i m e w i l l collect  possible  the information  a nev/s s t o r y i n c a s e s o f c o n f l i c t  management  As  on d o c u m e n t a t i n g t h e f a c t s  of  a  e t c . , and p l a c e d i n  s t o r y and i n c l u d i n g a l l o f t h e " s i g n i f i c a n t " f a c t s .  pointed  up  from  i n negotiations, etc.  Nev/s i s a l s o a  f o r greater  and w o r k i n g conditions',  the c o u r t s ,  4.  t o be s e p a r a t e d  to report  Once  on a g i v e n s i t u a t i o n ' ,  be s p e n t t e l e p h o n i n g  sources t o  the " s i g n i f i c a n t " f a c t s s u r r o u n d i n g the immediate  conflict. One o f t h e r e p o r t e r s  explained  the type o f  42  i n f o r m a t i o n v/hich c o n s t i t u t e s t h e can  agree  story:  on a n d  l ) who  a s t r i k e vote is  the  v/hich s h o u l d  walked was  o f f the  t a k e n and  workers a r e  effect  wage a n d  6) the  i f c i v i c workers  are  on  i f indust-  the  city,  effects 5)  t h e wage demands a n d of the  and  how  on i n d u s t r y ;  the  s t a t u s of 7)  offers; last  4)  nego-  the  base  contract.  "Following a l l o f t h e s e  details  comment f r o m u n i o n  management o f f i c i a l s  and  2.) w h e t h e r .  where;  3)  i n v o l v e d , the  expiration'date  normal  the v o t e ;  v/hat was  t h e number o f w o r k e r s i n v o l v e d ; tiations;  i n c l u d e d i n the  j o b and  p u b l i c a f f e c t e d , e.g.,  i n v o l v e d , v/hat v/as t h e rial  he  " f a c t s " v/hich a n y o n e  i f space a l l o w s ,  a  will  brief then  be  included. I n a p p r o a c h i n g an reporter himself soliciting sources,  only The  performs the c e r t a i n kinds  information  a news s t o r y w h i c h a,bove.  imposes a  phone.  i n the  questions  between the u n i o n  i s oriented to  conflict  and  format  producing  discussed  i s a l l about.  a r e p o r t e r asks over the  a union  reporter's official  by  from h i s  s t r u c t u r i n g p r o c e d u r e on  Here i s a r e p o r t of the  phone c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h  the  "gatekeeper"  of information  conforms to a t y p i c a l  This format  evident  f u n c t i o n of  gathered  work o f i n v e s t i g a t i n g what a is  e v e n t i n t h i s way,  end  of a  about a  the  This teletele-  dispute  the h o s p i t a l a d m i n i s t r a t i o n :  43 Hello. This i n v o l v e s the operating Any movement hy t h e h o s p i t a l y o u r demand? The h o s p i t a l h a s n o t h i n g going t o a r b i t r a t i o n . Was t h e h o s p i t a l  full  engineers? toward  t o l o s e hy  when y o u s t a r t e d ?  24 h o u r r o u n d t h e c l o c k s t u d y  sessions?  How many p a t i e n t s now? Bat t h e y ' r e s t i l l t r y i n g t o k e e p t h i n g s going with the supervisory s t a f f ? :  What k i n d o f p u b l i c r e a c t i o n h a s t h e r e been?  :  Is t h i s t h e f i r s t time t h e r e ' s withdrawal of s e r v i c e s ?  :  No c o n t a c t w i t h  :  Has t h e h o s p i t a l a p p l i e d f o r a arbitrator? i s sort  labour  The h o s p i t a l  :  You d o n ' t t h i n k t h e h o s p i t a l c a n c o n t i n u e t o o p e r a t e much l o n g e r ?  :  How a r e t h e t r u s t e e ' s t a k i n g t h i s thing?  :  Who  o f a hotbed', n o ?  whole  i s p r e p a r i n g t h e meals? f o l l o w the general  They have t h e e f f e c t  and  t h e government?  :  These q u e s t i o n s  terms.  been a  schema d e s c r i b e d  above.  o f s t r u c t u r i n g the i n f o r m a t i o n i n i t s  What i s e l i c i t e d  i s programmed b y t h e r e p o r t e r  what becomes t h e " f a c t s ' ' h a v e b e e n s h a p e d up-.in  this  44 process. The  above i n t e r v i e w  procedure  judicious  s t r u c t u r i n g of the kinds  solicited  from the u n i o n l e a d e r ,  the  job", t h e s t a t u s  affected, the  "fit"  etc.  presented  settle  costs  was  then "labour's"  and consumers, n e g o t i a t i o n s t o disputes  between manage-  i n v o l v i n g government f i g u r e s .  procedures then construct  relates  provided  stoppages o r ( f u r t h e r ) t h r e a t s  these problems, and l e g a l  solicited  the status o f  o f e v e n t s i n t h e ways t h a t  to business  ment and l a b o u r  involved,  p r a c t i c a l p r o b l e m s t o management, i . e .  v i a actual production thereof,  i . e . " , who w a l k e d o f f  The i n f o r m a t i o n  i n t o an a c c o u n t  actions  o f information-  o f n e g o t i a t i o n s , how was t h e p u b l i c  t h e number o f v/orkers  contract,  involved the  from l a b o u r .  t h e " e v e n t " i n the i n f o r m a t i o n  Conflict  t o the categories  Interview  i s made s i g n i f i c a n t  o f events which present  p r o b l e m s t o management, a d m i n i s t r a t o r s  as i t  practical  a n d government  officials. The shared  s t o r y t h a t was w r i t t e n f r o m  one o f t h e most  this  interview  common s t r u c t u r i n g f e a t u r e s  stories.  Conflict  i s represented  actions.  The l e a d s e n t e n c e r e a s  of "Star"  a s t h e outcome o f workers-' as f o l l o w s :  •Another 20 p a t i e n t s w i l l be s e n t home t o d a y as Kelowna G e n e r a l H o s p i t a l c u t s down i t s s e r v i c e s because o f a h o s p i t a l workers' walkout.. '  45 The  story  t h e n went on t o d e t a i l  " w a l k o u t " on p a t i e n t cut,  who was t a k i n g  home, w h i c h of  these  care,  i . e . , what  job categories  were a f f e c t e d ,  d e t a i l s had been l a i d  alleged  negotiated  failure,  h a d been  etc. After a l l  out, the union  spokesperson's  H i s v i e w o f what was " h a p p e n i n g " was  the h o s p i t a l had f a i l e d  previsouly  services  o v e r f o r t h e w o r k e r s , who was s e n t  r e p l y was p r e s e n t e d . that  the e f f e c t s o f the  t o l i v e up t o t h e terms o f a  agreement.  The d e t a i l s o f t h i s  why i t was s o viev/ed,  t h e consequences  v i e w e d t o have o c c u r r e d f r o m i t , i . e . , l a b o u r ' s v i e w o f management's a c t i o n s not  and t h e r a t i o n a l e  f o r t h e i r own were  explained. What w'as s o l i c i t e d  h i s view t h a t  f r o m t h e u n i o n o f f i c i a l was  the administration  was r e s p o n s i b l e  s e n d i n g p e o p l e home a n d f o r r e f u s i n g ensure that patients.  minimum d i e t a r y This  both f o r  the union's o f f e r to  r e q u i r e m e n t s be p r o v i d e d t o t h e  a l s o was a r e p l y t o who was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r  what h a d "happened", however, t h i s r e p l y was i n r e l a t i o n to  "what a c t u a l l y h a p p e n e d " a s i t was c o n s t r u c t e d  story,  i . e . , patients  workers walked out. this it  be s e n t home ... b e c a u s e t h e  H i s r e p l y was j u s t t h a t ,  a reply to  p r o b l e m a n d one w h i c h n e v e r a d d r e s s e d t h e c o n f l i c t a s  was o r i g i n a l l y  lead  will  i n the  defined  sentence o f the next  by t h e o f f i c i a l h i m s e l f . day's s t o r y  on t h i s  The  situation  46 r e p r o d u c e d the in  this  case,  o f view the  initial  s t r u c t u r i n g o f the  i t r e t a i n e d the  s t o r y was  being  identifier  told  event  only  o f whose  point  from:  The w a l k o u t by h o s p i t a l employees c o u l d l e a d t o some d e a t h s among a.cute c a r e p a t i e n t s who a,re now b e i n g discharged e a r l y from Kelowna General, a h o s p i t a l administrator charges. T y p i c a l l y , however, no of view i s being a t t r i b u t e the  room a f f e c t  assumed s i g n i f i c a n c e o f a  of the  (see  limits  the  on  examples,  ability  which would not  approach to  conflict.  time r e q u i r e d  to g a t h e r  the  l a c k of access  not  have t o s u b s t a n t i a t e an • The  busy i n the  This  i n a.ny  which the  newsstory the because and  e d i t o r does  alternative perspective.  i s s u e o r on  t o do  reporters  a b i l i t y , to  development o f a  story,  do The  i n v e s t i g a t i v e work  t h e a c t u a l work  issue i n v o l v i n g labour  c o n s t r a i n t was  a  coincide with  newsroom a l s o d e c r e a s e s t h e and  the  organize  t i m e c o n s t r a i n t v/hich k e e p s t h e  h i s t o r y o f an  involved  -31).  "background" i n f o r m a t i o n  reporter i s therefore l e s s able the  to  affairs  This i s true both  to i n f o r m a t i o n  independent r e s e a r c h  on  p,  point v/hich  state of  i n v e s t i g a t i o n outside  reporter's  from a p e r s p e c t i v e standard  i s made t o whose  expressed i n statements of f a c t  to workers' a c t i o n s The  reference  and  evidenced, according  conditions  management.  to the  reporter,  47  i n a story covering the f i r i n g  o f s e v e r a l female  workers', w h i c h w o u l d n o t have o c c u r r e d organized few  into a union.  B e c a u s e t h i s was  s t o r i e s w h i c h he was a b l e  i.e., was  to"angle"  i n clerical  covered only  one l a b o u r  t o s p e n d more t i m e on,  other major d a i l y  r e p o r t e r , a n d was  resulting  organizing features.  scrutiny. assigned  t r e a t e d i n t h e more  the event  One o f t h e s e  s t r u c t u r e s the focus  not only are workers'  causal e f f i c a c y  of  and  t h e consumer. labour's  manner o f p r e s e n t i n g  labour  i n t h e news a n d s h a r e s clinical  o f i n f o r m a t i o n appear as p r e d i c a t e s of the report.  a common  r e p o r t s and  In both, events a r e c o n s t r u c t e d  subject  to industry  o f d i s c u s s i o n i s t h e normal  o f a d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y prepared t  the costs  actions  A t t r i b u t i n g t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f an event  actions as the focus  case records .  actions  f o r the event, but t h e i r  the t o p i c of d i s c u s s i o n v i s - a - v i s  individual  distinctive  i . e . , whose m o t i v e s , a c t i o n s , etc.", a r e u n d e r Here a g a i n ,  major items  occurred,  " f a c t s " e x h i b i t two  are  feature  paper, which has  i n t h e " S t a r " u s u a l l y are", i . e . ,  what, when, where a n d how  discussion,  he  This story", he p o i n t e d o u t , was  work,  way t h a t s t o r i e s  The  to  one o f t h e  the s t o r y around the need f o r o r g a n i z -  by t h e c i t y ' s  standard who,  been  i t d i d n o t n e e d t o be h a n d e d i n i m m e d i a t e l y ,  able  ation  had they  office  so t h a t a l l o'f t h e  This provides  f o r "what  48 is  happening" as t h e problem o f t h e s u b j e c t  assigned  and i s  t o i t as h i s o r h e r p r o b l e m . T h i s may be compared t o t h e way i n v/hich a u n i o n  paper c o n s t r u c t s For  a s t o r y when d i s c u s s i n g t h e c o n f l i c t .  example, i n t h e f o l l o w i n g l e a d s e n t e n c e , t h e c o n f l i c t  a t h a n d i s one t h a t able  offer,  I s a t t r i b u t e d t o management's u n a c c e p t -  attitudes,  etc.:  The l a t e s t i n d u s t r y o f f e r r e v i s i n g t r a d e s mens' r a t e s i s u n a c c e p t a b l e ... ™ h e a r r o g a n t manner o f t h e e m p l o y e r s , t h r o w i n g dov/n t h e g a u n t l e t , s t a t i n g t h a t t h e i r o f f e r i s f i n a l a n d t h a t t h e r e w i l l be no f u r t h e r n e g o t i a t i o n s i s e v e n more u n a c c e p t a b l e t o t h e U n i o n t h a n t h e wage o f f e r itself; or the l e a d o f an underground paper's  story:  Behind c l o s e d doors: how B i l l m a i l e d t h e woodworkers. In both that  of these instances,  applies  to labour  King  t h e same s t r u c t u r i n g  i n the business  press  t o management a n d g o v e r n m e n t o f f i c i a l s . addressed revolves actions', t h e i r  device  i s applied  The i s s u e t o be  around the consequences o f t h e i r  "real" motivations, e t c .  S e c o n d l y , when l a b o u r ' s i n the "Star", the temporal is  black-  actions are described  sequence o f t h e i r s i t u a t i o n  broken up and t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e i r a c t i o n s t o  business  i s isolated  as a n e v e n t .  Such a p r a c t i c e c a n be  s e e n as a " c u t t i n g down" p r o c e d u r e v/hich removes a n e v e n t  49 from  the context  actors the  being  i n w h i c h i t beomces m e a n i n g f u l  described,  socio-economic  e.g., t h e i r  conditions  preceding  of their  By m e r e l y s t a t i n g t h e e v e n t a s a f a c t , an  episodic  structure." "' '  is  a s t r u c t u r e which suggests that  1  1  lives,  to the  actions, etc.~*" ~ <  the s t o r y  I t s apparent  )  i s given  contextlessness  the event has been  made a v a i l a b l e f o r a l l t o s e e a n d a g r e e upon', t h a t i s ' ,  • 12 it  i s worked up so a s t o i n t e n d  As  well, the controversial character  is  n e u t r a l i z e d i n these matter o f f a c t  an  event  icipants  i s a l l about from t h e p o i n t  of a state  of affairs  portrayals.  What  o f view o f the p a r t -  c a n t h e n be s t a t e d i n a manner o f i m p a r t i a l i t y  which conceals example,  i t s own d e s c r i p t i o n .  what i s p r o b l e m a t i c  "the a r r o g a n t  presenting  event.  For  manner o f t h e e m p l o y e r s " i n  an "unacceptable  supposedly n e u t r a l  about t h a t  o f f e r " becomes p a r t  explanation  that  of a  "negotiations  broke  down". The  s t r u c t u r i n g procedures  news a c c o u n t s ° £ l a b o u r the  involved  are consequential  i n factual  i n t h e sense  that  a c c o u n t becomes a n i n s t r u c t i o n on how t h e p u b l i c i s t o  view an event.  I t i s B. t e a c h i n g  on t h e assumed  signif-  icance', a n d c o n s e q u e n c e s t o a l l c o n c e r n e d o f t h e e v e n t a t hand.  When t h e " f a c t s o f t h e m a t t e r " a r e s t a t e d  much p r o d u c t i o n  i s lost",  as s o  s o many s e r v i c e s a r e u n a v a i l a b l e  50 to the is  public,  t o be  the  i m p l i c a t i o n s i s t h e r e t h a t the  interested  i n a g i v e n event  o r someone c o n c e r n e d private the  p r o b l e m as of a  included  s t o r y and  format  v/hat i s b e i n g  The  temporal  s e l e c t i o n of f a c t s  of these  stories,  sides, signal  the  e.g,  be  t a l k e d about.  the  details business,  episodic character  same i s s u e  happened".  of s t o r i e s  that  manner o f l o c a t i n g a s t o r y and  procedures  implicit  These  are  the  i n g a t h e r i n g the  o r g a n i z i n g them i n t o a s t o r y f o r m a t .  "facts" socially  organized  p r a c t i c e s s t r u c t u r e "what r e a l l y h a p p e n s " i n  the world  from w i t h i n an  takes  p e r s p e c t i v e o f ma-nagement.  the  The procedures  of  manner i n v/hich l a b o u r nev/s i s d e f i n e d a t  proper  structuring  in  organ-  to  r e f e r back to t h i s  " S t a r " depends on t h e t y p i c a l i t y  news, t h e  and  the  d i s c u s s e d and  "what a c t u a l l y  The the  been d e f i n e d ,  of  i s interested  immediate a c t i o n s o f w o r k e r s , c o s t s t o  comments f r o m b o t h  of  o r she  p r o v i d e s a c o h e r e n c e t o v/hat i s b e i n g  standard  of the  i t has  consumer,  the ongoing p r o f i t a b i l i t y  e n t e r p r i s e , i . e " , t h a t he  iz^tion  The  with  as w o u l d a  reader  scope of  interpretive  "events"  to a category  framework v/hich  i s limited  by  o f e v e n t s v/hich f o c u s  these on  conflict  51 b e t w e e n l a b o u r and management, a n d e x p r e s s a management perspective  of this  c o n f l i c t , with labour as the casual  agent. The to  limitations  on r e p o r t e r s  cover the necessary s t o r i e s ,  space  i n terms  o f time  i n t h e paper t o  accommodate e x p l a n a t i o n s o f e v e n t s , a n d i n v e s t i g a t i v e freedom  t o go o u t on t h e " b e a t " m i l i t a t e s  treatment clearly defined, in  o f l a b o u r f r o m a p e r s p e c t i v e w h i c h w o u l d more  approximate  i t s own.  Once a n e v e n t as news i s so  i t s s t a t u s as an " o b j e c t i v e " account  the practices  next  a g a i n s t the  f o r establishing i t s facticity.  c h a p t e r , we w i l l  an account  i s achieved  examine how t h e f a c t u a l  i s warranted  a t the "Star".  In the  status of  52 FOOTNOTES 1  This explanation of mundane reasoning i s found i n "Mundane Reasoning" by Polner, Melvin, an tinpublished paper, Jan. 1973, U n i v e r s i t y of California', L s Angeles. 0  2  «  Heap, James L. and Roth", P h i l l i p A., "On Phenomeno l o g i c a l Sociology" American S o c i o l o g i c a l Review, 1973, v o l . 38, J u n e , p. 354-367. ~~"  3  Molotch, Harvey and L e s t e r , M a r i l y n , "News as Purpose-', f u l Behaviour: On the S t r a t e g i c Use of Routine Events", Accidents and Scandals" American S o c i o l o g i c a l Review", v o l . 39, p. 101-112, Feb. 1974.  4  Smith, p. 266'.  5  Molotch, and l e s t e r , p. 112.  6  For a d i s c u s s i o n of ' d i s r u p t i v e access' t o media coverage afforded d i s s e n t i n g groups as a means of r e s t o r i n g order see Molotch and L e s t e r "Nev/s as Purposeful Behaviour: On the S t r a t e g i c Use of Accidents, Scandals and Routines".  7  Zimmerman describes the same procedure as i t i s a p p l i e d to the prospective welfare r e c i p i e n t ' s claim of e l i g i b i l i t y : while the subject's account of h i s own circumstances i s met w i t h a thoroughgoing s k e p t i c i s m , an e q u a l l y assured a t t i d u e i s taken by the intake workers towards the assumed f a c t u a l i t y o f documented accounts o r i g i n a t i n g from various p u b l i c and p r i v a t e a u t h o r i t i e s . See Zimmerman, Don, "Fact as a P r a c t i c a l Accomplishment" i n Ethnomethodology, Roy Turner, ;, e d i t o r , Penguin Books Canada -^td., ^arkham, Ontario', 1974, p. 128-143. -  8  Breed, Warren, "Socia.1 Control i n the Newsroom: A Functional A n a l y s i s " , S o c i a l ^orces, 33, May 1955, p. 326-335.  9  Smith,' p. 262.  10  S m i t h ? D.E., "K i s Mentally 111: The A n a t o m y of a Factual Account" i n J . Atkinson and J. C o u l t e r , ed., Ethnographies". M a r t i n Robertson, London, 1975', p. 23.  11  Smith.',' p.  259.  12  Smith, p.  259.  54  CHAPTER I I I NEWS PRODUCTION AT THE STAR ( B ) : ESTABLISHING THE F A C T I C I T Y OF AN ACCOUNT In the p r e v i o u s . c h a p t e r , illustrate  the process  events surrounding itive  and  a r e worked up i n t o a d e f i n Reporting  them i n t o e v e n t s w h i c h a r e d e f i n a b l e as  p r o c e d u r e s must be f o l l o w e d  objectivity The  relevance achieved  factual status,  i n order  to warrant  of the account.  o r g a n i z a t i o n o f newswork f o r d o c u m e n t i n g  " f a c t s " places  to the o b j e c t  news " o b j e c t i v e l y "  p r a c t i c e s f o r g e t t i n g the " f a c t s "  For a s t o r y to a c t u a l l y achieve  further  the  "labour"  the routine  organizing  news.  the  i n which the phantasmagoria o f  s t a t e m e n t o f t h e news.  begins with  we have a t t e m p t e d t o  the r e p o r t e r i n a determinate  relation  o f h i s \rork, a n d imposes a s t r u c t u r e o f  on t h e ways i n w h i c h i n t h e news.  This  " o b j e c t i v i t y " c a n be  i s the product  p r a c t i c e s which s t r u c t u r e the conceptions  of the ordinary and means o f  55 description available news a c c o u n t s . what c a n be issues.  These p r a c t i c e s a r e d e t e r m i n i n g " f o r  --conceived as news, f a c t s ,  events,  and  Tuchman p r o v i d e s t h e n o t i o n o f " t r a n s p e r s o n a l  replicability" whereby terms,  to the r e p o r t e r i n c o n s t r u c t i n g  to d e s c r i b e o p e r a t i o n a l l y the - processes  "objectivity" objectivity  i s a c h i e v e d i n newswork.  i s s e e n as a t e c h n i c a l  w h i c h depends on a c o d i f i c a t i o n  In these  foutinization  of the research  procedures  1 w h i c h a r e employed b y newsmen. a  determinate  framework f o r i n t e r p r e t i n g  a r e o b s e r v e d as  t e c h n i c a l matters  f a c t u a l accounts. cedures  a t the  purposes pective it.  groups  ruling,  the  t o show, s u c h  serve to a r t i c u l a t e  by w h i c h  process The  factual  guarantee  i n the  the pers-  exigencies, establishing  of a story) i s also  o f c o n s t r u c t i n g an account  i n g an account.  the  a  "what a c t u a l l y h a p p e n e d " i s c o n s t i t u t e d  t h e same p r o c e d u r e s  involved  status  from  pro-  m a n a g i n g and a d m i n i s t e r i n g  Because o f t h e s e s i t u a t i o n a l (the f a c t u a l  and  i n the p r o d u c t i o n of  have a t t e m p t e d  "Star" i m p l i c i t l y  of those  procedure  in  As we  provide  the world  f o r which an o r g a n i z a t i o n e x i s t s  "facticity"  in  These p r o c e d u r e s  status  of  "it".  of a labour story  of defining, locating,  i s achieved and  develop-  There a r e f o u r p r i m a r y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s c r e a t i o n o f an  i t s factual  status:  " o b j e c t i v e " account l ) the use  of proper  which sources  56 to authorize t o an  an  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n as  "objective" standard  "fact"';  the  of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ;  separation  of the  r e p o r t e r f r o m a s t o r y by  opinions;  and  the  4)  2)  production  of  appeal  3)  the  excluding  "facts"  his  through  consensus. 1.  The  Use  of R e l i a b l e Sources  Since dinating portray  the is  both sides  of a  o f r e a l i t y , he  conflict  as  The  that  coorto  o b j e c t i v e l y as  use  o p e r a t i o n a l p r o c e d u r e u s e d by  determining  Account  attempts  p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n t o what c a n  " f a c t s o f the matter". an  an  much o f a r e p o r t e r ' s work i n v o l v e s  c o n f l i c t i n g versions  possible with  to A u t h o r i z e  be  of  "reliable"  the  reporter  seen  sources for  domain o f e v e n t s w h i c h h a v e a s t a t u s  the w o r l d  i n d e p e n d e n t f r o m h i s own  outcomes,  etc. In a d d i t i o n , to o f f i c i a l  l e a d e r s , p e o p l e who  q u a l i f y as  judgments,  u n i o n and  as  in  desired  management  " r e l i a b l e " sources  include  representatives  f r o m l e g i t i m a t e government b o d i e s ,  e.'g.,  the  Workmen's C o m p e n s a t i o n B o a r d , t h e  labour  courts,  the  M i n i s t e r , and the  reporter  official  negotiators.  i n d e c i d i n g what c a n  where u n i o n and  be  management d i s a g r e e  t h i s way  authorize  the  organize  a news s t o r y .  final  These p e o p l e a i d s a i d about a on  the  case  f a c t s and  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n used  to  in  57 In t h e ( e a r l i e r mentioned) case o f t h e s t r i k i n g h o s p i t a l w o r k e r s , t h e " ' f a c t s " were by  discovering  those events which both s i d e s  upon, i . e . , t h e workers' a c t i o n s , quences o f a c o n f l i c t , istrative  p a r t i c u l a r s speak t o t h e i s s u e  disputes  agree  conse-  e t c . However, w h i l e t h e s e  admin-  o f "what  around the strike',  c a s e may n o t a l w a y s be s o s i m p l e .  legal  could  t h e immediate  a c t u a l l y happened" as i t i s o r g a n i z e d the  determined  F o r example, i n  s u c h a s t h e one b e t w e e n t h e m i n e r s a n d t h e  Workmen's C o m p e n s a t i o n Board", c o m p e t i n g a n d c o n t r a d i c t o r y claims  may r e q u i r e  reporter's acquires of  part.  some k i n d  What c a n be s a i d t o be t r u e  primary importance i n such  the l e g i t i m a c y assigned  because o f t h e r e p o r t e r ' s a  o f r e s o l u t i o n on t h e  story that  cases,  flict  i s i n accord  provided  i n this  because  In these  o f f e r e d as an o p i n i o n . with the l e g a l i s t i c  uses  serve  story.  cases,  Whether a c o n -  interpretations  manner", a n d t h e r e f o r e v/hat c a n be w r i t t e n  as expert  to authorize  in  carries special  on an. i s s u e , may have t o be j u d g e d b y t h e r e p o r t e r . opinions  and  desire not to state anything  c a n n o t be p r o v e n i n c o u r t .  even i f o n l y  both  t o government a g e n c i e s ,  t h e word o f l e g i t i m a t e government a g e n c i e s weight  legally  advise  v/hich t h e r e p o r t e r  the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s used  These then  i n t h e nev/s  58 For  example", i n t h e  case i n v o l v i n g h e a l t h  s a f e t y i n t h e mines', t h e  chairman of the u n i o n  and  charged i n a l e t t e r  Safety  Committee h a d  Workmens' C o m p e n s a t i o n B o a r d t h a t a taking  place  by  pation  i n the  criminal negligence  status  the of  accident  the u n i o n ' s  stated that Accident  on  Board, an  prevention the  investigation.  allowed the  part  reference  the  seek the o f the  Committee  do  not  assistance  accident.  d r a f t e d the  prosecution, and  not  the  what was  a  as  Board  of the  The  reporter  goes by  intended.  health  By  and con-  to'the of  legal the  representative  a duty of i n the  the prompt  interpreted stated  as in  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , the  any  d u t y on management  to  committee i n the i n v e s t i g a t i o n  legislation, court  the  plant  "reading"  " A s s i s t " was  c l e a r l y place  the  company.  "to a s s i s t  to t h i s  from  on  "assist'^management" e a r l i e r  According  partici-  issue  attack  obtained  The  explained  u n i o n p a r t i c i p a t i o n p r o b a b l y was that  The  the  c h a r g e b a s e d on  regulation.  back to  regulation.  regulations  of  o p i n i o n was  i n v e s t i g a t i o n of accidents". a  the was  to e x i s t i n that  regulation prescribes  Prevention  to  "cover up"  o f v i e w a l s o i n v o l v e d an  safety conditions  sulting  Health  company i n d e n y i n g t h e u n i o n  accident  union's point and  the  and  that  intended  by  mandatory the  however, i n c a s e s what t h e  committee of  regulations  criminal say  59 Because o f t h e j o i n t Board o f f i c e r , expectations  basis  regarding  o f both  liability  t h e way i n v/hich t h e l e g a l  i s s u e v/as r e n d e r e d a n o n - i s s u e on t h e assumed l e g a l i t i e s i n v o l v e d a n d t h e  to slander  f o r w r i t i n g what t h e r e p o r t e r  sumed c o u l d n o t be p r o v e n i n c o u r t . accepting  ofthe  and t h e r e p o r t e r , and both o f t h e i r  s y s t e m works,, t h i s the  determination  This  pre-  practice of  t h e judgments o f s u c h s o u r c e s depends on a  commitment a n d f a i t h i n t h o s e k i n d s which decide those kinds  o f formal  channels  what i s t r u e l e g a l l y a n d on t h e f i n a l i t y o f of decisions.  Thus', i n t h i s  case,  the chair-  man o f t h e u n i o n ' s H e a l t h  and S a f e t y A c c i d e n t  Committee  v/as n o t t r e a t e d a s h a v i n g  t h e same l e g i t i m a c y a s t h e  court", t h e B o a r d a n d v/hat t h e r e g u l a t i o n c o u l d  be s e e n t o  be  saying.  consideration  as  a reliable  flicting  That i s " , he v/as n o t g i v e n s o u r c e who c o u l d  sides o f a c o n f l i c t , The  authorize  This  that  one o f t h e c o n -  the union's  side.  assumed l e g i t i m a c y a n d n e u t r a l i t y  government a d m i n i s t r a t i v e a p p a r a t i ility  t h e same  labour  could  ofthe  superseded t h e p o s s i b -  speak f o r i t s e l f  on t h e i s s u e .  i s a common p r a c t i c e i n t h e t r e a t m e n t  of labour.  v/as a l s o i l l u s t r a t e d i n t h e more common s t o r y on a v/hen t h e l a b o u r  m i n i s t e r ordered  b a c k t o work a n d obey t h e l a w ;  This  strike  11,000 woodworkers t o go the workers  engineering  60 the  strike,  the  Woodworkers Rank and  were not  allowed to  reliable  s o u r c e s on b e h a l f  and  the m i n o r i t y  s p e a k on  the  File  i s s u e as  of business,  union leadership.  Committee, did  the  the  government  That i s , a f t e r  the  s t a t e m e n t s o f a l l o f t h e s e s o u r c e s were recox-ded, the  labour  minister  called  the  regional vice president  o f the  the  contract  to  o f f e r the  f o r workers to  best  employers' r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s  q u o t e d as  he  w o r k e r s w o u l d c e a s e p i c k e t i n g and this  s t a t e m e n t may  contract as  t o why  q u o t e d i n an  w o r k e r s had  s h i p and  that  militant  r a n k and  w o u l d be  go  an  file  File  bulk of  the  While  endorsement o f recorded  in  the  the."Star"  however, t h e  u n d e r g r o u n d p a p e r as  i t w o u l d be  production  b a c k t o work.  resume work;  b e e n b e t r a y e d by  of  assumed t h e  h a v e a p p e a r e d as  the workers c o u l d  the  W o r k e r s ' Rank and  o f f e r , h i s comments were n o t  p e r s o n was the  extent  law",  called  e x p e c t e d , and  of the  saying  obey t h e  woodworkers'  started the  stoppages, a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e Committee was  be  e.g.,  saying  a reactionary union  same  that leader-  n e c e s s a r y t o b u i l d a more  organization  before  their  demands  met. In t h i s  i t i m i z e d as  treatment  of labour,  labour  is  a g r o u p w h i c h i s p r i v i l e g e d enough t o  t h e m e a n i n g o f i t s own  actions.  portrayed  irresponsible dissidents  by  others  as  In the  delegexplain  news,labour i s who  61 threaten  other's  lives  and  welfare,  ^or  example*,  The w a l k o u t by h o s p i t a l e m p l o y e e s c o u l d l e a d t o d e a t h s ... Labour m i n i s t e r King orders workers to obey t h e law. Labour l e a d e r s  are  not  allowed,  rationales  f o r disobeying  law,  Responses to t h e i r a c t i o n s are  etc.  ponsible labour  the  however, t o s p e a k on  lav;, t h e  character those  warns a g a i n s t  of a grievance optimistic a  i n court,  settlement  the will  Union o f f i c i a l s  do  be  receive  n e c e s s a r i l y address  the  judgement may  i s not  the  suspicious  be  original  case. of  made by  special  be the  "somebody w i t h  motives of labour  versus  the  are  consideration  statements  i s s u e as  do  questionable pretation.  character Por  not  t r e a t e d as  reliable,  e d i t o r or r e p o r t e r  an  be  axe  object  o f t h e most  be  Because  suspicion, the  circumvent  o f the  this  with  " u n r e l i a b l e " source's  example, a l e a d e r  and  that  to g r i n d " , or  i n d i c a t e d to  of an  is  they defined i t .  t h o s e o f management, g o v e r n m e n t l e a d e r s , p r o c e d u r e s may  status  as  o r s a y i n g v/hat t h e y do. the  the  legal  Reporters are u s u a l l y expected to  u l t e r i o r motives f o r doing the  the  reached.  although t h e i r  a l l o f them may  res-  government m e d i a t o r who  " r e l i a b l e " sources,  However, n o t  that  t o o many s t r i k e s ,  Workmens' C o m p e n s a t i o n B o a r d v/hich d e f i n e s  a  of  o r o t h e r w i s e l e g i t i m a t e p a r t i e s , e.g.,  m i n i s t e r who  of  the  striking  courts,  the inter-  62 i m m i g r a n t w o r k e r s was editor  due  not  considered  r e l i a b l e by  to h i s u n i o n a f f i l i a t i o n ,  a u t o w o r k e r , and  i s therefore  w o r k e r s who  enemies o f i n d e p e n d e n t  are  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n that company", t h e rights  to  questionable  one  more r e l i a b l e w h i c h had  was  and  the  the  a more  only  T h i s use  and  a  what c a n  those with  often  as  an  file  events.  be  on  said  the  privmost  or r e g u l a r l y  sources s t r u c t u r e s  union  an  e n t i t y t o be managed*,'  governed such t h a t  labours'  in relation  to  the  government a d m i n i s t r a t o r s .  particular  administrative  orient  d i s c u s s i o n of a strike",  the  redirected to  f i l e workers', committee and  of r e l i a b l e  c o n c e r n s become r e l e v a n t management and  a  those persons with  issue are  t r e a t i n g labour  administered  e v e n t and  allowing  excluded", i . e . " , r a n k and  a c c o u n t by  e d i t o r as  nev/s p a p e r ' s c l i p p i n g  to i n t e r p r e t i s s u e s ,  d i r e c t knowledge o f an  leaders.  the  immigrant  s o t i r c e s imposes a b o u n d a r y  be known a b o u t a n  status  unions",  "reasonable" i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of  By  an  steel-  for basic  r e p o r t e r v/as  s o u r c e , i . e . , the  about l a b o u r . iliged  courts  recommended by  Using r e l i a b l e what c a n  enemy o f t h e  is  t h e w o r k e r s were b a t t l i n g t h e  p o l i c e and  organize  an  e.g.', "he  the  d e t a i l s of a the  actions concerns  J u s t as  and of  the  production  stoppage  statements  of  63  other  status  individuals serving  governmental  a r e u s e d t o i n t e r p r e t e v e n t s and i n a news s t o r y ,  labour  which an account treated  i s constructed  provided  to a u t h o r i z e reporter  the  c a n n o t be  Appealing  by  the  records  preted the  the  This  s t o r y , but  Standard of  n e c e s s a r y f o r an a p p e a l to an  This  i n v o l v e s not  requires  that  "anti-business" suggested of  or  "anti-labour".  "biased"  coverage t h a t  c o n t i n u a l l y played  speed ups,  a t t e m p t s , and  the  not  up  the  grievances  repression  t h e s e be  getting inter-  According  to  "perspectives" times",  and  i.e.",  examples were  business, activities over unsafe  of union  dramatic r e a c t i o n s  only  "biased",  Several  reporting against  " m i l i t a n t " w o r k e r s , s u c h as conditions,  these are  account  "objective"  "unbiased" fashion.  long  and  Interpretation  development o f a s t o r y i s u n a v o i d a b l e a t so  the  news " o b j e c t i v e l y " .  "Objective"  "reasonable"',  i s acceptable  are  i . e . , that which  r e p o r t e r s , however, i n c l u d i n g ones own  i n the this  in a  whose a c t i o n s  "fact",  f a c t u a l i s the  of the  around  proper sources i s then used  of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n .  both sides  subject  t h a n i t s own.  Another c o n s i d e r a t i o n  standard  intelligible  accused of f a b r i c a t i n g h i m s e l f  t o an  t o be v i e w e d as  the  and  other  account i n  which a c c u r a t e l y 2*  a p p e a r s as  from p e r s p e c t i v e s  information  r e n d e r them  capacities  e.g., of working  organizing  o f labour",  e.g.',  64 "Angry w o r k e r s d e f y P a r l i a m e n t " , o r Paperworkers". reporters  A l t h o u g h i t was. n o t m e n t i o n e d  as a c a t e g o r y o f  which receives  continual  the  by  "bias" against business,  subject which d i d not r e c e i v e  the  "Victory to  coverage  coverage  i n the  "Star",  m e n t s , e t c ' , s u c h as t h e c o n c e r n f o r p r o f i t s  decent  standard of l i v i n g ,  m a i m i n g on t h e  but  i n union papers, i s  " r e a l " m o t i v a t i o n s b e h i n d a company's a c t i o n s ,  welfare", e.g.", t h e n e e d f o r a  one  state-  o v e r human  j o b p r o d u c i n g economy, a  p r o t e c t i o n from  job, democratic  control  death  over  and  working  conditions". An  example g i v e n o f " a n t i - l a b o u r " b i a s w o u l d  s t o r i e s about i.e.,  conflicts  leaders. to  "union bureaucrats e x p l o i t i n g of i n t e r e s t  This type  r e p o r t f o r two  other i n t e r n a l Rank and  Pile  Strike  Their  e d i t o r and  reporters  not  labour 2)  i s l a r g e l y not  l ) Rank and  Committee,  concerns of  c o n s i d e r e d t o be  conflict.  An  available  "activists"  fall  do n o t r e c e i v e into  attempts  day  "political"  day  which  i n t h e same s e n s e  official  leaders;  t o a v o i d becoming a p a r t y t o  example o f t h i s  to  the category of the  " i n t e r n a l " union a c t i v i t i e s  ( o r o t h e r ) news i n v o l v i n g  the paper  file  union  f o r m s o f o p p o s i t i o n " , e.g.", t h e l o g g e r s '  coverage,  are  workers",  between v/orkers a n d  of coverage  reasons:  the  be  o c c u r r i n g w o u l d be  and the  i f the  as  or  65 news e n c o u r a g e d w o r k e r s t o be c r i t i c a l of  their  own l e a d e r s f o r f a i l i n g  to adequately  t h e i r i n t e r e s t s a g a i n s t management. in  the e a r l i e r  for he  cited  ratification  case  i n which the u n i o n  interests  that the o f f e r (and indeed  represent  This s i t u a t i o n  arose  o f t h e " t e r r i f i c " s e t t l e m e n t up  v/as n o t b e i n g t r e a t e d f a i r l y  suggestion  of the a c t i o n s  official  claimed  that  b y t h e p a p e r , due t o t h e  poorly represented  the r e p o r t e r agreed  workers-  1  that the quot-  a t i o n marks s h o u l d n o t h a v e b e e n t h e r e b u t h a d b e e n accidently was l a i d  i n c l u d e d i n t h e c o m p o s i n g room when t h e s t o r y  i n type). • What  " a n t i - l a b o u r " and " a n t i - b u s i n e s s " b i a s e s  both  have i n common i s t h e p i t t i n g  file  workers a g a i n s t u n i o n  ment agencies', crucial  etc.  o r management l e a d e r s ,  The f o c u s  f a c t o r i n determining  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n h a s b e e n made. assigned  leaders are associated with rank and f i l e being  will of  of conflict whether an  govern-  seems t o be a "unreasonable"  Hence, when c o n f l i c t i s  to the a c t i o n s o f normally  e.g.', management, t h e p o l i c e ,  of  o f " m i l i t a n t " ' , r a n k and  "reliable"  parties",  t h e c o u r t s , ( o r when  these  union  groups i n o p p o s i t i o n t o  a c t i o n s ) the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s suspected  opinionated,  be i n d i c a t e d  " b i a s e d " a n d u n r e a s o n a b l e J-'  by t h e e d i t o r e i t h e r v e r b a l l y  a n i n t e r - o f f i c e memoranda.  This o r by way  F o r example, i n one  case,  66 where c o n f l i c t was  assigned  the  courts,  p o l i c e and  real  the  c o n f l i c t was  union p o l i t i c s " .  over  the  one  actions  o f management",  e d i t o r suggested that  "some o f  the  bitterest  only  for this  one  side  o f the  story -  reason i t warranted  the  inter-  Another e d i t o r suggested t h a t  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was union's', and  to  this the  comment.  A n o t h e r example o f an u n r e a s o n a b l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was union's  charge of  mine w o r k e r s . reporter  and  attributed that  a l s o was  This  company i n t i m i d a t i o n  considered  "biased"  cause of c o n f l i c t  muckraking to stave  illustrated  i.e.,  labour's  " c r i s i s " or are  i n the actions  other,  explained",  o f a contract",  and  e.g.,  standard are  to the u n i o n i t s e l f ,  i.e.,  off jurisdictional  a d d i n g u r g e n c y to the  good b e n e f i t s locate  and  a  strike,  a precipitating a  attempts to a l l e v i a t e i t approval  dissatisfaction with halted  services  s i t u a t i o n , etc.  of  illustrated  32,000 s t r i k i n g woodworkers who estimate,  for a  as  union leaders'  " r e a s o n a b l e " t h i n k i n g was  reporter's  as  disputes.  conflict  s t o r y format  negotiations,  public  the which  defined  a l l the  of  one  Reasonable i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s l o c a t e was  by  a more r e a s o n a b l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was  the  i t was  " M u r d e r s " and  the  had  An  example  i n the  received,  "reasonable" contract  wage i n c r e a s e s .  otherwise c o n f l i c t  are  case of in  the  offer with  Interpretations  considered  the  "biased",  which as  in  67 the  c a s e where t h e a r t i s t i c w o o d w o r k e r s '  were i n t e r p r e t e d as a s t r u g g l e police,  the courts,  union organizing  o f workers a g a i n s t t h e  t h e company f o r v i o l e n t l y  attempts.  inter-jurisdictional  the  arena of labour  with  dispute,  inter-  t r e a t e d the i s s u e as  relocated conflict i n  (between l a b o u r  the editor's d e f i n i t i o n  which i n v o l v e s  repressing  The more r e a s o n a b l e  p r e t a t i o n p u t f o r t h " , i . e . , one t h a t an  activities  leaders)  and conform  o f ( p o l i t i c a l ) news", a s t h a t  elected or o f f i c i a l  leaders.  Unreasonable i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s then include which d e l e g i t i m i z e the a c t i o n s u n d e r s t o o d as r e s p o n s i b l e courts,  question  p a r t i e s , i . e . , government  to t h e i r actions.  agencies,  I n t e r p r e t a t i o n s v/hich  the adequacy o f these groups t o a d m i n i s t e r  manage t h e a f f a i r s  well,  o f what w o u l d o t h e r v / i s e be  p o l i c e , a n d management', b y a t t r i b u t i n g t h e c a u s e s  of c o n f l i c t  and  those  of labour  are suspect  fairly  of bias.  s o a r e t h o s e v/hich s t r e s s t h e n e e d f o r w o r k e r  solidarity  as a s o l u t i o n t o t h e p r o b l e m crea/ted b y s u c h a  situation.  Thxxs"  9  c o n f l i c t which i s explained  i n terms o f  i n f i g h t i n g among p e r s o n a l i t i e s l e g i t i m a t e l y r e c o g n i z e d the  representatives  disputes,  qualifies  of labour,  the given  a s a more r e a s o n a b l e  institutional  as  i.e., interjurisdictional interpretation  t h a n one v/hich d e f i n e s w o r k e r s i n t e r e s t s i n o p p o s i t i o n to  As  structures', i . e . , p r i v a t e  68 property,  capitalist  ment, e t c . terms a r e  enterprise', the p a r t y i n govern-  S t o r i e s which are v i e w e d as  rea.sona.bly",  biased.  r e t u r n to 3.  She  of business,  A third  the  l i s h e d by  t o b a c k up  from the  s e p a r a t i o n of the  carefully an  checking event',  out  and  the  ongoing i t and  "reasonable" suspected  the  ment a g e n c i e s ,  the  facticity  r e p o r t e r from This  fact  facts sources  i n the  story.  o r g a n i z a t i o n a l procedures or e l s e the  for  reporter  o f i n s e r t i n g h i s opinion's i n t h e stating  the  i s accomp-  by u s i n g r e l i a b l e  interpretation  objective character  Administratively  Story  significant  what i s q u o t e d o r s t a t e d as  In o r g a n i z i n g and  in  the  government t o end  p r a c t i c e which warrants  T h e s e must a c c o r d w i t h  the  to  exclusion of h i s opinions.  associated with  w i l l be  interpret  relate  o f the R e p o r t e r  o f an a c c o u n t i s t h e  making  these  t r e a t e d i n terms o f i t s  these  and  to  in  normalcy.  Separation  s t o r y by  In o r d e r  a c o n f l i c t must be  immediate r a m i f i c a t i o n s as activities  identifiable  story.  the s i g n i f i c a n t  facts,  o f an a c c o u n t i s d e t e r m i n e d .  organized  information provided  business, unions,  e t c . , i s thus  t h e body o f a news s t o r y i n s u c h a way  t h e r e p o r t e r ' s work i n o r g a n i z i n g t h e s e  as  to  by  govern-  presented separate  particulars  in  69 the as  f i n a l version facts.  The  associates who in  o f the  f a c t u a l appearance  i t from the  were r e s p o n s i b l e the  nev/s.  The  the  equivalence accounts  qualities  apparent  to the  ( a n y b o d y ) and  to  their 4.  i t is of f a c t s  reMtion  t h o s e who  assigns  to  i m p a r t i a l i t y that In the  is  context  recognizable  as  read them  the  charof  the  f a c t u a l ones  facticity.  The  factual  Production  status  last  of Pacts  p r a c t i c e s are version  on  the  somehow t h e  of a  The provide  the  one  Consensus  in establishing  s t o r y i s v/hat v / i l l of the  be  nev/stream.  basis  of c o n f l i c t i n g  authoritative  f r o m mere  that opinion",  etc. practices  f o r reaching  such  reporter with a substantiation  v/hich a u t h o r i z e s  as  These  ones demands  distinguished  the  r e f e r r e d to  c r u c i a l because a r r i v i n g at an  " f a c t s " are  misinformation*",  Through  consideration  consensus p r a c t i c e s  i.e.,  actors  organizational practices for establishing  The  the  of  therefore  of f a c t u a l accounts.  the  character  s e t s them i n a  subjectivities  stated  dis-  situated  contextless  processes  newsroom, a c c o u n t s t h e n a r e due  of a s t o r y  institutionally  o f n e u t r a l i t y and  acteristic  i . e . , they are  f o r i n t e r p r e t i n g r e a l i t y as  o r i g i n a t i n g i n these of  account,  "agreement" procedure,  h i s work w i t h t h e  editor  or  70 senior  r e p o r t e r , as  the  c a s e may  s u b s t a n t i a t i o n i s d e t e r m i n e d by structure tional The  of  the  n e w s p a p e r and  dimension i n t o the  r e p o r t e r works up  his  satisfied  and  facts  produced through  are  i n t h i s way  be.  T h i s method  the h i e r a r c h i a l subintroduces  structure  career  opinion  of a story.  the  initial  and  the  story u n t i l  the  The  i f there He  day  written  reporters  to h i s  own.  verbal  comments on  on  the  phone by  be  written.  a t i o n " , he  will  found out  and  this  also receive  city editor w i l l  i n an  often inform  exchange o p i n i o n s  himself  written'materials editor's  include written  t h e n phone h i s As  he  "checked  contacts  g a t h e r s more  the  possible  (desdesk or out"  story  e d i t o r o f what he on  with,  "assignments"  to determine i f a  the  begins  as-yet-incomplete  p o s s i b l e s t o r i e s t o be  "happening".  entire  service stories  passed from the  reporter  of  exchanges between  various  reporter w i l l  d i s c o v e r what i s  and  a result  reporter,  i s a news s t o r y  e a r l i e r ) which are  The  editor i s  "consensus".  the  cribed  the  stories.  exchange throughout the  also receives  The  organiza-  "agreement" i s r e a c h e d  e d i t o r s , u s u a l l y to cover wire  see  "lead".  For  v e r b a l and  editor.  from the or to  and  an  of labour  Reaching;,a c o n s e n s u s o c c u r s a s information  of  can  to informhas  inter-  71 pretation of a state of a f f a i r s , "news" o r on a l e a d p a r a g r a p h Discussion with is  collegial  i s time  to  in  some c a s e s  '"break" a s t o r y  the  and  or not.  editor  This  or whether discussion  get  e n t h u s i a s t i c about  "facts  does not', t h i s w r i t t e n and v e r b a l  editor  b o a r d f o r d e t e r m i n i n g what  so t h a t  o f the matter",  o r what m i g h t be i n an  he  the best angle  r e a s o n a b l y be  event  t o be  c a n s h a r e any  expected  reported.  appeared  from  ones v i e w s w i t h a n e x p e r i e n c e d newsman', one  t o be a m a t t e r  t o r e c o g n i z e what makes a s t o r y a s t o r y ,  The  f l o w o f communication between the r e p o r t e r had  r e l a t i o n s h i p between the r e p o r t e r s view themselves  day and  who  and  " s e n s e " o f t h e r e p o r t e r ' s own  day  with  of checking  the  the  story,  Working c l o s e l y  out  e d i t o r and  knowledge  the a c t o r s  e d i t o r i n t h i s way  to v e r i f y  paper.  on a  the  able  a  i t a l l o w s t h e r e p o r t e r t o compare h i s "news'-  sense" w i t h the  involved  be  t h e b e s t chance o f b e i n g p l a c e d i n the  Additionally,  the  t o d i s c o v e r what  i s p r e p a r a t o r y f o r more i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f a  exchange s e r v e s as a s o u n d i n g stories  the r e p o r t e r  o f e v e n t s may  S i n c e t h e r e p o r t e r may  story that  written.  i n nature', w i t h a n a t t e m p t  it  on  he h a s  t h e e d i t o r and  a reasonable i n t e r p r e t a t i o n  story.  whether a s t o r y i s  is  someone  opinions. city  i t s counterpart i n the night reporter.  as a team', and  The  they divide  their  72 work between t h e m s e l v e s as w e l l as ation  of s t o r i e s .  Communication u s u a l l y  w r i t t e n word o r by shifts. the  The  night  day  share i n the  phone, as  reporter,  a s w e l l as  contacts story.  t h e y exchange i n f o r m a t i o n  status  question of  the  each other  labour  written  their  scene or  ments, and  night  printed.  to  the The  reporters  and  the matters they d i s c u s s ,  and  of  e d i t o r s do  not  always  reaching  decide  that  s t o r y t o be  to break i t u n t i l Star's  not  "news", e.g.,  i t ' s news" o r  interested".  s t o r y i s news a l r e a d y anyway.  The  "angle"  by  of a  o f the  and  worthy of  mining accident  assign-  agree  consensus  views.  may  Por early for  s t a t i n g " I d o n ' t want  e d i t o r may  t h e r e p o r t e r may s t o r y may  coverage.  also  " i f they don't s t r i k e ,  t h r o u g h c o n f e r r a l on v/hat i s r e a l l y conflict  a  i t i s too  However, t h e  and  receives editor.  example", t h e  recently  reporter  day  other's  given  or i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s  night  or the  a  events,  the  and  or  phone  success of a  i n v o l v e a c c o m m o d a t i n g one r e p o r t e r may  c h e c k on,  Over t h e  a s s i s t a n t e d i t o r and  e d i t e d work f r o m h i m The  different  predictions  comment on  story i n being  works w i t h the  on  on  the  by  assignments w i t h  comments on a p r e v i o u s l y w r i t t e n on  occurred  t h e y work on  reporter also leaves  prepar-  a l s o be  feel  determined  occurred  i n c i d e n t , where t h e  a  t h e n type i t up  important about  This  the  a  i n the  reporter  was  case  73 initially  interested  i n and  sympathetic  a widow d e n i e d a p e n s i o n . random t o t h e  editor  o f t h e s t o r y and responded",  He  sent an  soliciting  to the p l i g h t  of  i n t e r - o f f i c e memo-  h i s o p i n i o n on t h i s  received a negative reply;  '-you h a r d h e a r t e d h a n n a h ! " a n d  i n v e s t i g a t i n g the i n t e r j u r i s d i c t i o n a l  he  angle  then  continued  aspects  of  hy  the  situation. I n more d i f f i c u l t suggest  cases  of c o n f l i c t i n g  the  e d i t o r may  for  o b j e c t i v e r e p o r t i n g , e.g',~, g e t t i n g  story*; a r r i v i n g checking  s e v e r a l o r g a n i z a t i o n a l procedures  a t a more  "reasonable"  the l i b r a r y f i l e s The  insights,  or. o t h e r  "both  contacts.  occurs  Reporters  sides" of  "reliable"  be  p l a c e between  between t h e r e p o r t e r may  attempt  to  (whether u n i o n  or  F u r t h e r , t h e r e p o r t e r may  o f what s h o u l d happen", e.g., e t c . , and be  reasonably  etc.). a  a t times  story:  add  his  the  next  managean  interpretation  on a s t r i k e v o t e , n e g o t i a t i o n s  engage i n a d i s c u s s i o n o f what  expected  and  gain  ment l e a d e r s ) a n d what a c t i o n w i l l be t a k e n i n s u c h event.  or  sources.  f o r example i n t o what t h e c o n t a c t f e e l s  move o f t h e i r a d v e r s a r y w i l l  the  interpretation*,  g e n e r a l d i s c u s s i o n which takes  the r e p o r t e r s e d i t o r s a l s o the telephone  opinion  (from the workers, the  T h i s d i a l o g u e c o n t r i b u t e s two l ) what a r e c o n s i d e r e d t h e  could  company",  things d i r e c t l y " f a c t s " of a  to  matter,  74 I.e.,  those  agree  on,  l a b out  t h i n g s v/hich u n i o n and  such  a s "x" -  their of  number o f w o r k e r s w a l k e d o u t ,  " c r i s i s " i n the f o r e s t  much p r o d u c t i o n was  management l e a d e r s  industry intensified",  halted", e t c . ;  and  other r e l i a b l e  a conflict",  etc.  c o n s e n s u s may  sources',  Indirectly,  facts.  For  e.g.", who the  example", i n t h e  case  dying from b r e a t h i n g b l a s t i n g from a h e a r t a i l m e n t ,  gas  c o n t a c t s f o r v/hat  reasonable  of  a guy  i n the  with a heart ailment  in  of reaching  a  on a story", o r  closest  to  i n a mine w h i l e  t h e r e p o r t e r may  auction  that  the  of a worker r e p o r t e d  views a g a i n s t the course  from  of  is justified  process  considered  so  a statement  c o n t r i b u t e to. t h e a n g l e u s e d  whose i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s t o be  is  2)  i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of events, which d i f f e r s  the  the  test  as  suffering  out h i s  own  seems t o h a v e b e e n a situation",  e.g.,  "what  d o i n g v / o r k i n g i n a mine f o r  anyway?" In a d d i t i o n t o h e l p i n g the r e p o r t e r d e c i d e t o a n g l e h i s story", r e a c h i n g a g r e e m e n t t h r o u g h channels a  provides  a reporter with  p a r t i c u l a r v e r s i o n to the  this  group can  factual mining may  be  relied  statements. v/ho was  these  grounds f o r v / a r r a n t i n g  editor.  In c a s e s  on a s a u t h o r i t a t i v e  F o r example, i n t h e  at fault  how  case  of  doubt,  sources of  of  deter-  f o r the deaths o f the miners,  s t a t e t h a t t h e r e v/as some doubt i n two  of the  four  he  75 c a s e s u n d e r review", a n d s t a t e He may that the  i t as a f a c t i n the s t o r y .  do so ey,en t h o u g h t h e u n i o n  i t was company  entative  a c l e a r case o f n e g l i g e n c e (i.e.,  "Murder")*  asserted  on t h e p a r t  and t h e company  h a s no doubt o f i t s i n n o c e n c e .  reading  the inquest  related  f a c t o r s " as c o n t r i b u t i n g  to  spokesman  repres-  However,  jury's r e p o r t which c i t e d  after  "work  t o d e a t h and by t a l k i n g  t h e Workmen's C o m p e n s a t i o n B o a r d r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s " ,  reporter  made a n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n a u t h o r i z e d  s o u r c e s and s t a t e d  account,  i t as a " f a c t " i n t h e s t o r y .  the r e p o r t e r s  community  use each o t h e r ,  of r e l i a b l e  From w i t h i n  sources to verifs^ the reasonable-  t h e newsroom",  story i s constituted checking  of r e l i a b l e  on what  as  of a  of locating",  out", i n t e r p r e t i n g a n d w r i t i n g a s t o r y . c a n be l e a r n e d  News  from the  s o u r c e s and the mutual fact" d e t e r -  m i n a t i o n s made i n d i s o u s s i o n editors.  be s t a t e d  the f a c t u a l status  i n those processes  judgments r e l y h e a v i l y community  of an  the e d i t o r s , and  ness o f an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f events that w i l l fact.  the  by t h e s e  ^ence, i n e s t a b l i h s i n g the f a c t i c i t y  the  of  The a s s u m p t i o n t h a t  between t h e r e p o r t e r s there  i s an o b j e c t i v e  and view  o f e v e n t s w h i c h i s i n t e r - s i i b j e c t i v e l y a v a i l a b l e t o newsmen g u i d e s t h e p r o c e s s o f news  "gathering"  and t h e  to which they address themselves i n r e a c h i n g  a  coordinates consensus  76 on  the.-"facts".  part  Agreement o r l a c k  of reporters  and e d i t o r s i s c r u c i a l  because i t i s the b a s i s version world  i n t h e nev/s.  exists  addressing to  o f d i s a g r e e m e n t on t h e i n this  process  f o r a r r i v i n g a t an a u t h o r i t a t i v e  This also provides  "out t h e r e " i n d e p e n d e n t  the sense that  a  o f ones means f o r  i t a n d v/hich i s more o r l e s s e q u a l l y  accessible  everyone.  The status  n e u t r a l i t y of the r e p o r t e r  of labour  and the " o b j e c t i v e "  s t o r i e s are c o n s t i t u t e d i n these  practices.  They a r e t h e a c c o m p l i s h m e n t  throiigh and through o f organ-  izationally  but are a t t r i b u t e d a q u a l i t y  situated actors  o f independence from t h e i r  own p r a c t i c e s and methods f o r  achieving  them.  The p r a c t i c e o f u s i n g  authorize  an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n defines  f r o m a management standard its  labour  Appealing  "objectively" t o an  Separating  no p o l i t i c a l  the reporter  s t a n c e on t h e w o r l d .  f r o m t h e s t o r y by e x c l u d i n g h i s  means t h a t a c c o u n t s w i l l  be c o n s t r u c t e d  w a r r a n t a b l e f a s h i o n from an o r g a n i z a t i o n a l p o i n t This  "objective"  o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n e x t e r n a l i z e s t h i s v i e w as i f  use implied  opinions  perspective.  proper sources t o  in a of view.  i s g u a r a n t e e d i n t h e s u b s t a n t i a t i o n methods f o r  producing  " c o n s e n s u s " i n s u c h a way a s t o p r e s e r v e t h e  77 managerial  f r a m e o f r e f e r e n c e i n news.  " o b j e c t i v e " accounts achieved i n these  which are warranted  organizational  porates t h i s structure  i n fact i s  practices  and  incor-  o f r e l e v a n c e i n t o t h e news.  " u n i o n " newsmen v i e w a s a p r o - b u s i n e s s is  Producing  slant  on t h e news  t h e r e s u l t o f an e f f o r t t o c a r e f u l l y document  world  i n such  features likewise,  and  a way  as  the  to preserve i t s "objective"  q u a l i t i e s so  that  anyone who  g i v e n the circumstances  "Star"', w o u l d f i n d  What  t h e same w o r l d  attempted  of reporting t h e r e for--the  at  to  do  the  looking.  78 FOOTNOTES  1  Tucliman, Gaye, " O b j e c t i v i t y as a S t r a t e g i c R i t u a l ; An E x a m i n a t i o n o f Newsmen's N o t i o n s of. O b j e c t i v i t y " A m e r i c a n J o u r n a l o f S o c i o l o g y . ' v o l . 77,' J a n . 1972',  p. 660-79.  79  CHAPTER I V CONCLUDING REMARKS Tlie s t u d y o f i d e o l o g y attempted to d e l i n e a t e activity larger  such as l a b o u r  paper has  t h e ways i n w h i c h a reporting  practical  i s implicated  in a  process o f c o n s t r u c t i n g a view o f the w o r l d  the  perspective  who  "rule".  portra3?-ed  and i n terms o f t h e e n t e r p r i s e s  In t h i s  providing  context,  as o r g a n i z a t i o n a l  so a s t o r e p r e s e n t  present  i n this  o f those  ideological practice i s  p r a c t i c e s which s t r u c t u r e  a p a r t i c u l a r view o f r e a l i t y  the appearance that  i n these accounts.  from  news  while  no s u c h p a r t i c u l a r i t y i s  This mediation structures the  r e l a t i o n s h i p between p u b l i c knowledge o f t h e w o r l d and t h e way i t i s o r g a n i z e d At  t h e "Star"', l a b o u r  worthy subject factually of  f o r t h o s e who' l i v e  in i t .  I s c o n s t i t u t e d a s a news-  i n the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l procedures f o r  representing  the w o r l d .  t h i s work i s a n i n t r i n s i c  part  The s o c i a l  organization  of the a d m i n i s t r a t i v e  80 p r o c e d u r e s f o r p r o d u c i n g v/hat c a n he s e e n a s r e l i a b l e ' , f a c t u a l recordings setting.  o f events  of the world  The methods employed i n t h e i r  i n this production  preserve a managerial r e l a t i o n s h i p to labour practices on  of c o n s t i t u t i n g accounts of i t .  and r e p r o d u c e  and  authority  ing labour  the h i s t o r i c a l l y  These  situated  achieved i n  structure  our r e l a t i o n -  t o t h e v/orld v i s - a - v i s t h e f a c t s a r e n o t a v a i l a b l e scrutiny.  The u s e o f a d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y  knowledge t o a u t h o r i z e situated relevance  an account  organizational  organized  obscures the h i s t o r i c a l l y  p r a c t i c e s and t h e s t r u c t u r e s  of  w h i c h m e d i a t e o u r knowledge o f t h e v / o r l d . Structuring  news e n t e r p r i s e of an account these kinds  procedures which are a part  i s established.  The p r a c t i c e s w h i c h  o f f a c t u a l a c c o u n t s and which w a r r a n t  Routine p r a c t i c e s  generate their  a fundamental source of  so t h a t a m a n a g e r i a l p e r s p e c t i v e  assign  of the  a r e t h e n o b l i t e r a t e d once t h e f a c t i c i t y  " o b j e c t i v i t y " , however', i n t r o d u c e bias  organizational  nev/s.  t h e nev/s story", t h e p r a c t i c e s v/hich  for  depend  r e l a t i o n s embodied i n t h e means o f a p p r e h e n d -  In t h e f a c t u a l appearance f i n a l l y  ship  i n the  i s represented.  f o r l o c a t i n g , d e f i n i n g and w r i t i n g  on  labour  to i t an eposodic  it  t o appear as a s t a t e  of affairs  character  v/hich  v/hich i s m e r e l y  news  allows  81 reported. kinds  Questions  r e p o r t e r s ask  of i n f o r m a t i o n about  s t r u c t u r e v/hat visible  can  in soliciting  "what a c t u a l l y h a p p e n e d "  be known;  however", t h e y a r e  as h i s p r a c t i c e s i n t h e f i n a l  administratively l a b o u r and  organized  account,  particulars  from  can know i t .  Labour then  f r o m w i t h i n a r u l i n g v i e w o f t h e world",  only  the  becomes known  i . e . , as  i t i s to  the use  interpretations  to e s t a b l i s h the of r e l i a b l e  of events  temporally  facticity  sources  related  t h i s a d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y assembled contextless  and  world.  In o r d e r accounts",  and  to l a b o u r .  these the  The  use  information provides  s p a c i a l l y independent of the a c t i o n s and  of  authorizes  d e s c r i p t i o n o f labour", i . e . " , one  circumstances,  reliable  sources  perspective  o f the  use  of these  ments on ruling  ruling  the l a b o u r  relation  and  ruling  labour.  instit-  a v i e w o f l a b o u r v/hich i s p r o d u c e d f r o m  of a u t h o r i t y i n business  a  surrounding  utionalizes  "other""", i . e . , t h o s e  of  v/hich i s  rationaJ.es f o r a c t i o n of  assumed l e g i t i m a c y o f t h e s e  positions  the  business",  groups i n v o l v e d i n managing, a d m i n i s t e r i n g  governing  The  not  government groups r e m a i n t o c o n s t i t u t e t h e  a c t u a l i t y as we  those  certain  the  groups  government.  in  The  g r o u p s t o make a u t h o r i t a t i v e s t a t e "scene" then  institutionalizes  t o our knowledge o f l a b o u r  i n the  a media.  82 The  social  organization of this  '•knowing" however d i s a p p e a r s problematic ized  c h a r a c t e r o f events  final  of  story.  i n the world  The  i s neutral-  i n t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y r e c o g n i z a b l e ways o f  about l a b o u r ,  e.g.,  is  due  threatened  Although  talking  n e g o t i a t i o n s b r o k e down, p a t i e n t  to the walkout o f the h o s p i t a l  r e l e v a n t to those  tratively  organized  groups amassing such  forms o f k n o w l e d g e , t h e  o f an  " e p i s o d e " and  is  longer v i s i b l e  no  i n the  form  workers. adminis-  relationship  i t s c o n s t r u c t i o n to r u l i n g i n t h e news as  enterprises  i t i s f o r you  or  even t h o u g h t h a t r e l a t i o n s h i p d e t e r m i n e s what w i l l t h e r e t o be  r e a d as  category  be  which o n l y p r i v i l e g e d  labour  g r o u p s may  becomes  interpret,  from w i t h i n a p e r s p e c t i v e t h a t preclxides l a b o u r ' s d e f i n i t i o n o f what a c t u a l l y h a p p e n e d . reference  serious in  these  business  c o n f l i c t s with  criticism contexts. and  of labour, tion  labour  of business  and  the  These i n d i v i d u a l  i . e . , i n those  events  i s one  of which  excludes labour  incidents outline these  confront  surrounding  The  own  government by  or t h r e a t of reduced  of p r i v a t e e n t e r p r i s e .  frame  t o l a b o u r and  management i n t e r e s t s a s  of production  control  The  from which l a b o u r i s c o n s t r u c t e d  attributes  me",  news.  From w i t h i n t h i s r u l i n g r e l a t i o n , a  care  the  those  disrup-  profitability  and  i n t e r c h a n g e a b i l i t y of  • 83 the on  perspectives labour  reality in  o f a d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y assembled  i s used t o construct  that assumedly  "objective"  t o w h i c h newsmen a n d r e a d e r s h a v e common a c c e s s  the " f a c t s " .  A l l of the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l l y  correct  p r o c e d u r e s f o r c o n s t i t u t i n g t h e news c o n s t r u c t reality  knowledge  i n the process The  "labour"  organizational  rupture  news on l a b o u r  o f making an account  this  of i t .  methods o f a p p r e h e n d i n g  the forms o f thought a v a i l a b l e i n t h e  from t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s and meanings which  w o u l d make t h e s u b j e c t i v i t i e s o f i t s p a r t i c i p a n t s intelligible.  These i d e o l o g i c a l p r a c t i c e s  s t r u c t u r e our  r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h a t w o r l d o f events and a r t i c u l a t e a view as  i t i s t o t h o s e who r u l e , r a t h e r  ruled.  t h a n t h o s e who a r e  Hence, a n i d e o l o g i c a l v i e w o f t h e workd i s "then  guaranteed i n the routine structure  talk", o p i n i o n s  a c c o u n t s o f t h e news",  organizational  practices  which  a n d judgments i n t o t h e " o b j e c t i v e "  84  Appendix This  i s the f i r s t  reporter. myself.  I met He  day him  - Field  Notes  Sample  of o b s e r v a t i o n of the i n t h e newsroom a n d  i n f o r m e d me  that  i t v/as n o t  labour  introduced possible  i n t e r v i e w him. a t t h e moment as he h a d  a  sat  to h i s .  and  observed  him  a t the  desk n e x t  " h o t one".  f o l l o w i n g . ' n o t e s a r e made on t h e b a s i s o f h i s o f what he was  d o i n g and my  to I  '^he discussion  o b s e r v a t i o n s o f h i s work  activities.  He i s d o i n g a s t o r y on t h e U n i t e d S t e e l w o r k e r s " , who a r e p r e s s i n g t h e government on t h e d e a t h s o f f o u r miners. H must c a l l t h e Workmen's C o m p e n s a t i o n B o a r d a n d Cominco t o g e t a n s w e r s t o t h e l a t t e r ' s r e f u s a l t o a l l o w i n d e p e n d e n t o b s e r v e r s i n s p e c t work s i t e s . "There i s a l s o t h e i s s u e o f a widow r e c e i v i n g a p e n s i o n . He. i s c h e c k i n g o u t " i n p u t " . He l e f t t h e d e s k t o see J a c k , an e d i t o r . He r e t u r n e d a n d phoned Mr. White ~ t o f i n d o u t why no p e n s i o n v/as g i v e n t o Mrs. Hummel. (No answer) George: The t o u g h p a r t o f t h e b u s i n e s s i s g e t t i n g i n f o r m a t i o n , e.g., f r o m p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s people', who go i n t o t h e b u s i n e s s a n d see I f t h e y want i n f o r m a t i o n t o go o u t . I f n o t , he s a y s , f i n a l l y , "no comment". C a l l s Cominco p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s o f f i c e r , H e r b . A c c o r d i n g t o r e p o r t s ( f r o m l a b o u r ) , Cominco t h r e a t e n e d workers w i t h l a y o f f s i f they complained about b e i n g gassed. Is t h i s t r u e ? (end conversation) Note: T h i s i s a r e p o r t on f o u r m i n i n g d e a t h s G e o r g e : _You may g e t e n t h u s i a s t i c o v e r a n a r t i c l e you a r e v/orking on, b u t t h e e d i t o r s may f i n d " h o l e s " i n t h e s t o r y and b l i p i t , o r may j u s t n o t be e n t h u s i a s t i c and n o t u s e i t . tHe t y p e s f o r a w h i l e ) . Incoming c a l l : . Cominco d i d n o t r e p r i m a n d people i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n . Note: almost a n e g o t i a t i o n o c c u r s o v e r t h e w o r d i n g o f t h e i r r e p l y : . George s a y s so i t ' s t h e i r j o b t o do s u c h and s u c h ? ... e  85  George ( c o n t ' d ) : A few more s p e c i f i c questions Why d i d n ' t Cominco l e t K w a l s k y go i n and t a k e a l o o k a t t h i s thing? (the union representative). (He l a u g h s ) He i s n o t an e x p e r t . But K w a l s k y i s a member o f t h e S t e e l e , w o r k e r s ... that's h i s job. Why d i d Cominco oppose M r s . Hummel's p e n s i o n a n d why were t h e f a c t s d i s t o r t e d ? Find out. George e x p l a i n s t h a t t h i s i s a l a b o u r s t p r y ^ i n w h i c h t h e m i n e r s a r e c o m p l a i n i n g a b o u t mine s a f e t y , i t i s a n i s s u e o f t h e w o r k e r s b r e a t h i n g i n fumes ( b l a s t i n g g a s s e s ) o r g e t t i n g t h e j o b done. George s a y s he must c a l l on t h e f i r s t i n q u e s t ... (he c a l l s ) : c o u l d someone r e a d t h e v e r d i c t ? (George a p p e a r s a n x i o u s f o r a m i n u t e a s a l a w y e r i s a r o u n d who he t h i n k s wants h i m t o t e s t i f y ... b u t he. w a n t s t o a v o i d h i m ) . The v e r d i c t ... no o t h e r c i r c u m s t a n c e s . On t h e n i g h t s h i f t . . . n e g l i g e n t i n h i s own d e a t h . The v e r d i c t i s f r o m a j u r y of l a y people. He r e c e i v e s a c a l l b a c k : J i m - George t e l l s him t h a t f r o m l o o k i n g a t h i s s t o c k p i l e on t h e s t e e l w o r k e r s ' p r e s s r e l e a s e s , he i s j u s t t r y i n g t o p u t t h i s t h i n g t o g e t h e r and f i n d i f i t ' s a s t o r y or n o t . Kwalsky, check the v e n t i l a t i o n system. (They t a l k f o r a w h i l e ) , ^his i s easily d i s c e r n a b l e ( f u m e s ) , eh? They're s a y i n g the o p p o s i t e . The c o r o n e r ' s j u r y s a y s i t wa.s ... B i t s m e l l i s s o m e t h i n g you c a n d i s c e r n i b l e , eh? ( b l a s t i n g fumes). They're s a y i n g the o p p o s i t e - t h e c o r o n e r ' s j u r y s a y s i t was ... Blast smell i s s o m e t h i n g you can e a s i l y d e t e c t . Government r e g u l a t i o n i s t h a t an employee c a n n o t r e t u r n t o work u n l e s s fumes a r e gone. What h a v e y o u t o l d t h e e m p l o y e e s ? What y o u a r e t r y i n g t o do i s make them l i v e up t o t h e r e g u l a t i o n s . Is t h e r e a r e change i n t h e r e g u l a t i o n s t h a t Cominco w o u l d ... You're s e r i o u s l y c o n v i n c e d : m u c k r a k i n g t o b u i M up t h e i r image and s t a g e o f f j u r i s d i c t i o n a l f i g h t s ? (Cominco gave K w a l s k y t h e r u n o f t h e complex when he f i r s t a r r i v e d one y e a r ago", but i n v i e w o f h i s p a s t p e r f o r m a n c e (a b a r a g e o f a l l e g a t i o n s t o n e w s p a p e r s w i t h o u t t e l l i n g t h e company, f i r s t ) Cominco does n o t f e e l t h a t he wants t o a s s i s t i n t h i s . ) Why d i d Cominco oppose t h e p e n s i o n on a l l e g e d d i s t o r t i o n o f the f a c t s ? George r e a d s t h e i n q u e s t r e p o r t , a n d s a y s t h a t i f y o u h a v e a n y more i n f o r m a t i o n o n Hummel i t w i l l be appreciated. On t h e p e t i t i o n : t h e Workmen's C o m p e n s a t i o n B o a r d ' s r e p o r t i s c l a i m e d t o be d i s t o r i n g t h e f a c t s by the miners, (^hey t a l k a b o u t t h e w e a t h e r , s k i i n g , e t c , ) Would y o u ? ... b e c a u s e I t h i n k I t ' s i n t h e p u b l i c i n t e r e s t ? 1 ask q u e s t i o n : Is t h i s a " s t r a i g h t " news s t o r y ? Georg.e: Yes, and I t i s documented t o k e e p t h e law o f f o u r backs. a s  86  George: Cominco does not t r u s t Kwalsky ... There i s some j u s t i f i c a t i o n on two out of four of the deaths only. Note: In the Steelworkers' paper the headline on t h i s s t o r y reads "Murder!" George c a l l s (union): On Mr. Hummel; t r a n q u i l l i z e r case - j u r y d i d not make- recpmmendations on gas, etc. I ' l l put i t .in on your statement. Doctors should inform the company. On second case: l o c k i n g device on truck (which crushed worker) - there was none. On t h i r d case: guy walking over c l i f f ... Developed i n t o a r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h steelworkers; w r i t e 'Barrett*, Leo Nimsick won't do anything; How do the workers f e e l ? Pressing charges against Cominco f o r v i o l a t i o n of workmen's Compensation ... f a u l t y equipment . Zinc p l a n t room, -^ine you and then withdraw i t ? . , Do you think a r e p o r t e r should go i n t o T r a i l ? I f I went", Id go w i t h a camera without announcing. I t would he February/March? I plan to go up there i n February", anyway, when the representative vote i s h e l d . A year long b a t t l e . . . New phone c a l l : chatter ... those are the hard c o l d f a c t s of the corporate s t r u c t u r e ... more t a l k (jokes, sports) George consults an e d i t o r f i r s t before w r i t i n g s t o r y to see i f i t ' s O.K. Also works on l e a d (sentence) ... while w a i t i n g f o r e d i t o r ' s opinion. His l e a d : Mines m i n i s t e r Leo Nimsick - b i d to have h i s sacked or s h u f f l e d ; c o n f l i c t between United Steelworkers.,..and New Democratic Party; f o u r t h case i s not j u s t i f i e d . Note: Ongoing e f f o r t to determine whose i n t e r p r e t a t i o n v/as r e a l i s t i c . New phone c a l l : -^id you know that i n the inquest v e r d i c t a c o n t r i b u t i n g f a c t o r was b l a s t i n g gas? ... Then the guy shouldn't be i n there ... i t s l i k e the guy on t r a n q u i l l i z e r s ... shouldn't be d r i v i n g . Do you know why no pension on Hummel? Because i t v/asn't a work r e l a t e d f a c t o r ... but j u r y d i d say ..... o r o n a r y thrombosis. If . you have that k i n d of ailment, what are you doing i n the mine? Other workers i n area unaffected. Complained of being i l l f o r some time but d i d not do so when put on t h i s job. George t y p i n g ... 11:45 I leave: 2-|- hours observation. c  87 BIBLIOGRAPHY  Bagdikian, Ben H.', "The P o l i t i c s of American. News papers", Columbian Journalism Review", no, 10, p. 3-13. Bittner", Egon. "Theorizing As P r a c t i c a l Reasoning"-in Ethnomethodology, Roy Turner, e d i t o r , Penguin Books, Canada~Tjtd., 1974. Boilers", David R.',' "A Report on A c t i v i t y by P u b l i s h e r s : i n . D i r e c t i n g Newsroom Decisions"', Journalism Q u a r t e r l y , no. 44, p. 43-52. Boyte, Harry and Ackerman, Prank. "Revolution and Democracy"", i n S o c i a l i s t Revolution. 1974, p. 54-71. Breed, Warren. " S o c i a l Control i n the Newsroom", Mass Communications, Wilber Schramm,, e d i t o r , U n i v e r s i t y of I l l i n o i s Press, Urbana, 1957, p. 178-197. Fishman, Mark. "The Production of Media News: How Newsmen Create S o c i a l Facts", chapter, one, unpublished d i s s e r t a t i o n , Department o f Sociology, U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a , Santa Barbara, 1974. C a r f i n k e l , Harold. ' Studies...in Ethnomethodology, N w Jersey: P r e n t i c e H a l l , Inc. 1967, e  Giddens, Anthony, e d i t o r . P o s i t i v i s m and Sociology", Heinemann P u b l i c a t i o n s , London, 1974, Giddens, Anthony, "Epistemology and Method i n the S c i a l Sciences" l e c t u r e presented a t the Centre f o r S o c i a l Organization, U n i v e r s i t y of Wisdonsin, Madison, August 1, 1975. 0  Gramsci, Antonio. Letters/from PrisonV % n n e Pawner, t r a n s l a t o r , Harper and Kow, P u b l i s h e r s , N w York, 1974. e  Heap", James 1., "Towards a Phenomenological Sociology of I d e o l o g i c a l P r a c t i c e " , working paper presented a t the meetings of the Canadian Sociology and Anthropology A s s o c i a t i o n , May 1973, Kingston, Ontario. Heap, James 1, and Roth, P h i l l i p A,, "On Phenomenological S.ociology" American S o c i o l o g i c a l Review, 1973, v o l . 38", p. 354-367.  Horton", Jphrij "The F e t i s h i s m o f S o c i o l o g y " , S o c i o l o g y " , C o l f a x , J , David, and Roach", J a c k B a s i c Books', I n c . , New Y o r k , 1971. Mannheim, K a r l .  Ideology  and V/orld, I n c . New  and  i n Radical;, ii. editors,  Utopia', Hare o u r t ,  York,1936.  Brace  Marx', K a r l and E n g l e s , F r e d e r i c k . The German Ideology,;. C . J . Arthur", e d i t o r ' , I n t e r n a t i o n a l P u b l i s h e r s , New York",  1970.  M o l o t c h , H a r v e y and Lester", M a r i l y n . "News as P u r p o s e f u l Behaviour: On t h e S t r a t e g i c Use o f R o u t i n e Events', A c c i d e n t s a n d S g a n d a l s " , A m e r i c a n S o c i o l o g i c a l Review",  v o l . 39? p. 101-112;'  1974.  Mueller, ^laus. The P o l i t i c s o f C o m m u n i c a t i o n , U n i f e r s i t y P r e s s , flew York, 1973. ~ " P o l n e r , M e l v i n . "Mundane.'Reasoning", u n p u b l i s h e d U n i v e r s i t y o f C a l i f o r n i a , Los Angeles', 1973.  Oxford paper",  Schramm, W i l b e r . "The G a t e k e e p e r : a memorandum on G a t e k e e p e r s and t h e T r a n s m i s s i o n o f I n f o r m a t i o n " i n Mass Communications., W i l b e r . Schramm*, e d i t o r " , U n i v e r s i t y o f I l l i n o i s P r e s s , Urbana", 1957. Sigelman",; Lee, " R e p o r t i n g t h e Nev/s: An O r g a n i z a t i o n a l A n a l y s i s " , A m e r i c a n J o u r n a l o f S o c i o l o g y , v o l . 79, July,  1973", P. 132-1577"  S m i t h , D o r o t h y E . , "The S o c i a l . C o n s t r u c t i o n of. a R e a l i t y " , S o c i o l o g i c a l I n q u i r y , v o l . 44, no. 4,  Documentary 1974.  .;"The I d e o l o g i c a l P r a c t i c e o f S o c i o l o g y " i n Catalyst".' W i n t e r , 1974, no. 8. ;"K i s M e n t a l l y 111: The Anatomy o f a F a c t u a l Account"', i n J . A t k i n s o n and J . . Coulter", e d i t o r s , E t h n o g r a p h i c s , M a r t i n Robertson", l o n d o n , 1975. . "Women'.j, t h e F a m i l y and C o r p o r a t e C a p i t a l i s m " , i n ' Mj,. Stephenson", e d i t o r , Women i n Canada", Newpress, T o r o n t o ,  Tuchmann", Gaye. " O b j e c t i v i t y a s a S t r a t e g i c R i t u a l : ; An E x a m i n a t i o n o f Nev/smen's N o t i o n s of, O b j e c t i v i t y " * , ' A m e r i c a n J o u r n a l o f S o c i o l o g y , v o l . 77', January 1972.  Tuchmann, Gaye. "The Technology of O b j e c t i v i t y : Doing Objective T e l e v i s i o n News" Urban l i f e and Culture, v o l . 2, A p r i l 1 9 7 3 . . "Making News by Doing Work: R o u t i n i z i n g the Unexpected". American Journal of Sociology, voir, 78. J u l y 1973. AL» —  —  —  Turner, Roy, Ethnomethpdology, Penguin Books, Canada l t d . Markham, Ontario, 1974. Volosinov, V.N. Marxism and the K Philosophy of language", Seminar Press, New l o r k , and London,-1973. Winch, Peter, The Idea of A S o c i a l Science and i t s R e l a t i o n t o Philosophy, Humanities Press, London. 1958. Zimmerman, Don. "Pact as a P r a c t i c a l Accomplishment" i n Ethnomethodology, Roy Turner, e d i t o r .  

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