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Journalism and Critical Engagement: Naiveté, Embarrassment, and Intelligibility

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This article explores the possibility of journalists acting as custodians of critical engagement, drawing on Rancière's conception of dissensus as organized disagreement over the conditions of understanding. It begins by assessing the status that worthiness and naiveté have as negative symbolic capital in the journalistic field, before asking whether journalists' ambivalent detachment from the objects of their inquiry hinders their ability to engage critically with experts in other fields. It argues that journalism's role in marshaling dissensus amounts to making clear the limits and absences of intelligibility in journalism and other fields, in distinction to disseminating knowledge as such.

Keywords: Critical Engagement; Intelligibility; Journalism in Society; Phenomenology; Rancière

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2014-04-03

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