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Title: New geographies of the metropolitan newspaper : exploring spaces of urban political journalism at the Toronto Star
Author: Rodgers, Scott Jeffrey
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 0781
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis presents a new approach to the geographies of newspapers and their entanglement in the politics of cities, moving beyond traditional emphases on political economy and media representation. Highlighted are the practice-materiality nexuses through which urban political journalism is performed, considered using a basic ontology of 'sites'. This treats the metropolitan newspaper not as an urban institution, but as a continuously unfolding heterogeneous organization with potential effects in the politics of cities. At the core of the research is a broadly ethnographic approach, consisting of participant observations, in-depth interviews, content tracking and documentary analysis. The Toronto Star, a major metropolitan newspaper, is the starting point of the study. The thesis begins by considering the narration and performance of particular 'histories' of the newspaper, foreshadowing how such histories help to assemble organizational identities, and understandings about the connections of the newspaper with urban public life. This leads to an examination of the audience orientations and positioning of city editing, where attention is paid to how such work involves ambidextrous geographical imaginations of the city as both 'public' and 'market'. In contrast, three city politics beats - city politics reporting, column writing and editorializing - are then considered as 'hybrid' sites connected as much to spaces of urban politics as to those constituting their newspaper organization. These preceding analyses are folded together and viewed through the prism of newspaper's 'new deal for cities' campaign, and efforts at its re-launch during the research, emphasizing the contingency and unpredictability of news media involvement in urban politics. In concluding, the benefits of a site ontology are stressed vis-a-vis the politics of scale, while a range of future research directions are also identified, particularly the implications of media change for the future politics of cities, and the need for interdisciplinary studies of the geographies of journalism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available