Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Civil Unrest, Coverage of
Nicole J. Maurantonio
Journalism, like most professions, periodically confronts political and social crises which challenge the fundamental norms and routines of its practitioners. For journalists, such crises pose a particularly acute problem. In times of crisis, or more specifically moments of civil disorder or unrest, journalists must not only come to grips with the reality of a situation as individual citizens; they must also attempt to make sense of such incidents for their readers and viewers. Consequently, as storytellers, journalists are located in a precarious position. They must make the often incredible and sometimes inexplicable accessible to audiences. Doing so requires journalists to reposition themselves vis-à-vis the standards and routines of the profession and to consider what the past may offer as a possible reference point for their coverage. Communication researchers have examined journalists' coverage of civil unrest from many perspectives, reviewing newspaper articles, television broadcasts, visual images, and magazines as items of ...