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Press coverage of the debate that followed the News of the World phone hacking scandal: the use of sources in journalistic metadiscourse

Author:

Binakuromo Ogbebor

Cardiff University, GB
About Binakuromo

School of Journalism, Media and Culture

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Abstract

This article examines the distribution of sources in journalistic metadiscourse (media coverage of journalism) and the implication of the manner of distribution for democracy. In this study, the way sources were distributed in the media representation of the debate that arose from the News of the World phone hacking scandal and the Leveson Inquiry is taken as representative of how sources are distributed in journalistic metadiscourse. The main method for this study is content analysis. Content analysis was supplemented by critical discourse analysis in the study of 870 new articles on the media policy debate, from 6 British national newspapers. My findings show that journalistic metadiscourse is characterised by a doubly narrow spectrum of sources with access tilting heavily in favour of the press. I argue that this is dangerous to democracy and that it may be unrealistic to expect the press to function as a democratic public sphere during debates about themselves without some level of external coercion. 

How to Cite: Ogbebor, B., (2018). Press coverage of the debate that followed the News of the World phone hacking scandal: the use of sources in journalistic metadiscourse. JOMEC Journal. (12), pp.145–165. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/jomec.173
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Published on 08 Feb 2018.
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