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Essay: Varieties of cross-border journalism

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Europe has a rich heritage of diverse languages, political cultures, enlightenment traditions and, consequently, frameworks of journalism idea(l)s based on different understandings of its tasks, audiences and position in society. As yet, however, the addition of a cross-border dimension to journalism has not resulted in the development of cross-border collaborations along correspondingly diverse lines. The recent rise of journalistic cross-border collaboration seems much indebted to the muckraking tradition of reporting, rooted in the decades when populism was coined as a positive, anti-elitist term in the United States. Targeting corrupt practices, muckrakers have traditionally been committed to exposing liars, frauds, crooks - wrong ones - in politics and business. This is useful to society at large but insufficient if compared to aims of stimulating, across borders, critical public reflection and exchange about international public affairs. Because it may generate self-righteousness in its practitioners and audiences, it might even hamper such practices, dependent as they are on a capacity for self-critical appraisal among participants. What would cross-border collaboration look like if connected to, for instance, the logic of publizist journalism with its affinity for intellectually challenging political debate and its capacity for scrutinizing stereotypes? Why has it not evolved? What might be done to further a diversity of approaches to journalistic cross-border collaboration? Also, might shared attention to the concept of cosmopolitanism be helpful to that purpose?

Keywords: civil society; cosmopolitanism; journalism logics; pluralism; populism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Independent Scholar and Writer

Publication date: June 1, 2019

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