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Hanitzsch, Thomas ORCID: 0000-0002-7104-6300; Vos, Tim P. (2017): Journalistic roles and the struggle over institutional identity. The discursive constitution of journalism. In: Communication Theory, Vol. 27, No. 2: pp. 115-135
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The study of journalistic roles tends to be descriptive and is thin on theory. This article advances an understanding of journalistic roles as being discursively constituted and builds on the notion of journalism as a discursive institution. Journalistic roles are negotiated in a relational structure—the discursive field—where journalists, news outlets, and media organizations struggle over discursive authority in conversations about journalism's identity and locus in society. Journalistic roles are articulated and enacted on 2 distinct levels: role orientations (normative and cognitive roles) and role performance (practiced and narrated roles). The process model of journalistic roles proposes a circular structure, where normative, cognitive, practiced, and narrated roles are connected through processes of internalization, enactment, reflection, normalization, and negotiation.