Fichamento: Making News (1978) — Capítulo 2

Estou lendo/fichando um livro que, até onde entendi, é uma daquelas “bibliografias clássicas” do Jornalismo. Trata-se do Making News, escrito em 1978 pela Gaye Tuchman. Nessa obra, ela aborda o enquadramento da notícia, o recorte espaço-temporal onde se realiza uma reportagem, e a rede de relações entre acontecimentos e fontes na construção da “factualidade” de uma notícia. Ela também apresenta um case sobre a forma como a imprensa abordou a insurgência feminista em meados do século XX.

Interessou? Tenho uma boa e uma má notícia: são os destaques ipsis literis de todas as citações que achei de mais importantes ao longo da leitura, em inglês (essa é a “má” notícia). A boa notícia é que esse é um livro raro de encontrar, e não existe na internet, aparentemente.

Referência Bibliográfica

TUCHMAN, Gaye. Making News: A Study in the Construction of Reality. Nova York, Londres: The Free Press, 1978.

Chapter 2: Space and the News Net

“There is a significant difference between the capacity of a blanket in that of a net to gather fodder for daily newspaper columns and television air time. Each arrangement me capture fresh information daily thus confirming and reinforcing the old adage “old news is no news”. (News go stale like bread and cakes; it is a depletable consumer item.) But a net has holes. Its haul is dependent upon the amount invested in intersecting fiber and the tensile strength of that fiber. The narrower the intersections between the mesh — the more blanketlike the net — the more can be captured. Of course, designing a more expensive narrow mesh presupposes a desire to catch small fish, not a wish to throw them back into the flow of amorphous everyday occurrences.” [P. 21]

“Today’s news net is intended for big fish. […] For just as earlier newspapers places reporters at police stations, were sensational cases might be located, so today’s news media place reporters at legitimated institutions where stories supposedly appealing to contemporary news consumers may be expected to be found.” [P. 21]

“Equally significant, placement of reporters at these locations and assignment of these responsibilities reaffirm and reinforce these organizations’ public legitimacy. Occurrences are more likely to be defined as news when reporters witness them or can learn of them with little effort.” [P. 22]

“The news net is refined by attenuating reportorial responsibility and economic reward. The media hire stringers to alert them to occurrences in more specialised organizations, such us local colleges, and in geographic areas of limited but clear circulation value, such as suburbs. The name “stringer” connotes an attenuated relationship to the news net, even as it reaffirms the imagery of the net or web.” [P. 22]

“Instead of blanketing the world by their independent efforts, the news media and the news services leave the same sorts of hole in the news net, holes justified by a professionally shared notion of news.” [P. 23]

“The news net imposes order on the social world because it enables news events to occur at some locations but not at others.” [P. 23]

“Equally important, the news net is a hierarchical system of information gatherers and so the status of reporters and the news net may determine whose information is identified as news.” [P. 24]

“Similarly, editor prefer to publish or telecast material prepared by their staff rather than by centralized news services.” [P. 24]

“Finally, the news net imposes a frame upon occurrences through the cooperation of the complex bureaucracy associated with the dispersion of reporters. Interactions within the bureaucratic hierarchy, reporters and editors jockeying with one another, may determine what is identified as news. Reporters compete with one another for assignments. Editors compete with other editors to get assignments for their reporters and then negotiate to get their reporters’ stories in the paper or on the air.” [P. 25]

“Originally designed to attracted readers’ interests by catching appropriate stories available at centralized locations, the newsnet incorporates three assumptions about reader’s interests:

  1. Readers are interested in occurrences at specific localities.
  2. They are concerned with the activities of specific organizations.
  3. They are interested in specific topics.” [P. 25]

Geographic Territoriality: First, the news media divide the world into areas of territorial responsibility. The actual divisions used by any specific news organization replicate the organization’s notion of its mission — what it believes its particular readers want to know [P. 25] and what it is financially prepared to bring them.”

Organizational Specialization: A second method of dispersing reporters is to establish beats and bureaus at organizations associated with the generation of news and holding centralized information.” [P. 27]

Topical Specialization: Formally introduced during the circulation wars of the late nineteenth century, this method is constituted in independent departments with their own budgets. Their editors report directly to a managing or executive editor, bypassing the territorial desks. Topical specialties include finance, sports, and family/style or so-called women’s departments, as well as culture and education.” [P. 29]

“That all territorial-desk editors and topical-department editors report do the same person (usually called a managing editor, sometimes an executive editor) mitigates this problem. By coordinating the activities of the major territorial and [P. 32] topical editors as the day progresses, the managing editor may continually revise ongoing plans for and visions of that day’s newspaper or television news show. As coordinator and the person responsible for the news product, the managing editor heads negotiations about which items are truly important news.”

“In sum, the assessment of newsworthiness is a negotiated phenomenon, constituted in the activities of a complex bureaucracy designed to oversee the news net.

One may conclude that the news net not only excludes some occurrences from consideration as news because of a pattern of centralization at legitimated institutions; it also orders priorities by which sort of employee or service produced an item, reporter or stringer, staff or Associated Press reporter. Additionally, the news net is anchored through complex overlapping responsibilities, ordered by bureaucratic editorial hierarchy. In the act of judging [P. 37] value of diverse items caught by the news net, the editors perpetually create and recreate negotiate standards of judgment. By accomplishing judgements, the editors in turn affirm and reaffirm the validity of the k anchoring of the news net as a frame imposing order and coherence on the social world.” [P. 38]

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