The Epistemologies of Breaking News
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionEkström M, Waldenstrom A, Westlund OW. The Epistemologies of Breaking News. Journalism Studies. 2021;22(2):174-192 https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2020.1831398
The study analyses the epistemologies of online breaking news, focusing on the distinctive epistemic practices and challenges in the production of continuous news updates and online live broadcast. The analytical framework identifies three central aspects of news epistemology: the articulation of knowledge claims; how journalists know what they claim to know; and the justification of knowledge claims. The study draws on data from ethnographic research at a Swedish online first. Participant observations and interviews were carried out during spring and summer 2018. The study shows differences in the epistemic claims of news updates and live broadcast, how commitments to facts are carefully balanced in the enactment of discursive resources, and how justification is related to the calculation of epistemic efforts. The implications of different temporalities in news production are analyzed. The study identifies three forms of epistemic dissonance that ultimately jeopardize the authority of news media as a provider of valuable public information.