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Environment Reporters and U.S. Journalists: A Comparative Analysis

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This study provides baseline data regarding environment reporters in the twenty-first century, and then compares this baseline information about a specialized journalism beat to existing studies of U.S. journalists in general. This comparison between 652 environmental journalists working at daily newspapers and television stations and more than 1,000 U.S. journalists in general found that these reporters share many individual and work-related characteristics, perhaps due in part to their similar backgrounds and to the basic professional training received by most journalists. The authors propose a uniform theory of journalism education, arguing that journalists are journalists first because they are linked by their studies, training, and experience, and that differences among reporters may be related to variations in their education. The researchers also found that newspapers employ more specialized reporters than do television stations, and that the bigger the newspaper, the more specialists, suggesting that bigger is better for specialized reporting.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: West Chair of Excellence in Communication and Public Affairs, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA 2: Department of English, Fairfield University, Fairfield, Connecticut, USA

Publication date: 01 January 2008

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