Eclectic Continuum, Distinct Discipline or Sub-Domain of Communication Studies? : Theoretical considerations and empirical findings on the disciplinarity, multidisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity of journalism studies

Is journalism studies a sub-domain of communication studies, a distinct discipline, a multidisciplinary merger or a transdisciplinary endeavour? This question is discussed by analyzing the 2008 and 2009 volumes of seven academic journals focusing on journalism research. The sample includes 349 articles published in Brazilian Journalism Research, Ecquid Novi, Journalism & Communication Monographs, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Pacific Journalism Review, Journalism Studies, or Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism. Overall, the findings reveal that journalism research mainly applies theoretical approaches and empirical methods deriving from other disciplines, particularly sociology, psychology or cultural studies. In many countries, however, journalism studies has reached a comparatively high level of institutionalization indicated by the large number of specific schools, professorships, professional associations and respective academic journals. In conclusion, we argue that journalism studies is a sub-domain of communication studies, which integrates and transcends various disciplines aiming to become one of the axial subjects of the 21st century.


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