Ideology at Work in (the Production of) the News on Ethnic Minorities

Ferruh Yılmaz


This paper analyzes how everyday production routines and journalistic conventions as well as ideological assumptions about minorities and about the newspaper’s readership all play a role in the production of an ordinary story about Latino labor leader. The concept of ‘newsworthiness’ is a major rhetorical source in these negotiations between the reporter and the editor, and the news sources. Newsworthiness is flexibly defined and redefined through complex negotiations in order to fit the story into one of the basic journalistic forms (human-interest, conflict or deviance story). In this case, a potential conflict story is turned into a human-interest story to get a positive story about Latino population into the newspaper. The analysis is based on my ethnographic observations on the San Diego Union Tribune during a routine news production day, where I followed a reporter while he was producing an ordinary news article on his beat, Latino Affairs.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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