At genfinde journalistikken: Om journalistikkens transformationshistorie og begrebsliggørelse af journalistens kontingensformel

Peter Børker Nielsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This master thesis is exploring the formation and the transformation of the concept of journalism over time and further explores the changing concept of the journalist in reference to the contingency formula set in each of the analyzed periods. On the basis of Niklas Luhmanns social system theory, the term journalism or journalist isn’t situated as uniquely based concepts, but is examined as meaning- changing concepts, differing over time depending on their semantic constructions. By examining the changing in semantics, it is possible to describe how the terms are set differently both over time and in time and hereby, to reflect over the future role of the journalist. The way to explore the problem is through a bilateral analysis which sets off in both a diachronic and a synchronous direction. The diachronic analysis tries to enlighten how a concept of journalism as a whole has changed over time as a difference set between meaning and condensed meaning. As the study show, the concept of journalism is structural connected to various functional systems ranging from censorship practices in the first period moving along a dominant political coupling. From there, the concept is slowly changing to a more economical character and at the end; the term reveals a connection to a scientification of journalism. With these results in mind, the synchronous analysis is focusing on the concept of the journalist contingency formula set differently in each of the different periods. The difference constructing the observations will be set as term in regard to its opposite term. Here I will explore how the ideal form of a journalism concept derives from being unilaterally connected to despotism. In the second period, the idealistic concept is leaning towards a more agitatorical contingency formula. In the economical period, the concept for the journalist is separated in two different terms: one of contemplation moving away from the agitators and slowly – when the economy finds itself being pressured – a different term based on a more rational journalist concept. Finally, the meaning of the term is based on a concept of learning, where the journalist ideal is influenced by both science and education as self-education towards a more self-referential contingency formula than earlier proposed concepts.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages82