Practicing Media – Mediating Practice | Evaluative Practices in a Broadcasting Newsroom Archive: Culture, Context, and Understanding in Practice

Asen O. Ivanov


Seeking to contribute to practice theory debates on the nature of culture and cognition, this article draws on work in cultural sociology to present an approach for analyzing the cultural processes supporting what practice theorists describe as “understanding in practice.” Specifically, the article draws on the influential toolkit theory of culture, and its subsequent elaboration in the literature on evaluative repertoires, to develop a model for analyzing how cultural structures support situated cognition in organizational contexts of practice. The article then demonstrates the import of this model for media studies by examining the evaluative repertoires that newsroom archivists draw on when selecting and acquiring news broadcasting materials for archival preservation. The analysis is based on fieldwork and interview data collected at the digital news broadcasting archives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.


practice theory, culture, evaluation, broadcasting news, news archives, understanding in practice, newsroom ethnography

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