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Journalism and Social Science: A New Relationship?

David H. Weaver and Maxwell E. McCombs
The Public Opinion Quarterly
Vol. 44, No. 4, Polls and the News Media: A Symposium (Winter, 1980), pp. 477-494
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2748467
Page Count: 18
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Journalism and Social Science: A New Relationship?
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Abstract

This article argues that the use of social science perspectives and methods by journalists is not a recent phenomenon, but one which began to develop long ago within the dominant humanistic philosophy of professional journalism. Changing definitions of news in recent times, however, are likely to enhance the role of the social sciences in both professional journalism and journalism education, especially as some journalists seek to move beyond the reporting of specific, isolated events to providing a context which gives them meaning. If journalistic and social science methods are to become more closely wedded, one very important condition, in addition to interest by editors and availability of talent, is financial support from those who own and control mass media.

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