“Pivoting to Instability”: Metajournalistic Discourse, Reflexivity and the Economics and Effects of a Shrinking Industry

Patrick Ferrucci, Michelle Rossi


Since 2007, the field of journalism in the United States experienced what some might call a consistent and never-ending stream of layoffs. While research in journalism studies attempts to explain this labor precarity, this study uses metajournalistic discourse to understand how the field itself explains the reasons behind layoffs and the effects they have. This study found that while the industry acknowledges that layoffs negatively affect the quality of news, it lacks any semblance of reflexivity through blaming all financial issues facing the field on factors outside of journalism. The article ends by theorizing what this means for the practice moving forward, and how a lack of reflexivity potentially makes it significantly difficult for journalists to improve practice.


business of journalism, media economics, metajournalistic discourse, journalism studies, media sociology

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