Review of the Objective of Norm in American by Michael Schudson

900 Words2 Pages

The objective of norm in American, by Michael Schudson, explores how and why the objective norms developed in American journalism. Objective is one of the most important occupational values of American journalism, it can be identified by following measures: express allegiance, ethnographers’ observations and occupational routines, resist with the challenging behaviour, impersonality and non-partisanship in news content. Differencing from some scholars’ opinions that economic and technological change enhances the ethic of objective, Schudson thinks four conditions encourage the articulation of norms. Two of them are Durkheimian, the other two are Weberian. One of the Durkheimian conditions thinks the emergence of norm is to achieve horizontal solidarity, another Durkheimian condition find the norm is used to identify the group from other groups. Both Durkheimian conditions are concluded as social cohesion. The Weberian conditions find norm is not appear abruptly, they are transfer from the old generation, who were benefit from these rules, to the young generation. It is the tool for the superiors to control subordinates in a complex organization. Weberian condition is to satisfy the need of social control. By discussing the history of American journalism development, this essay outlining the emergence of these four conditions in the late 19th and early 20th century. By doing so, the author found the reason why a new moral norm appeared in American journalism. Compared with European journalism, this article discusses why objectivity as a norm first and most fully appears in American instead of Europe.
The author provides a rough timeline of the objective norm emerging in American journalism, and explains the inner origin of these co...

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...p.150). That is why the objective fact existing before 1920s is not the objective norms, and the economical motivation theory is not justified. However, in the attitude to economical motivation, the opinion of the author is too extreme. He thought this theory is wildly believed but nowhere justified (p.160). The over criticising of economical motivation leads the author just focus on the inner motivation of the objective norm from the perspective group development and ignores the importance of outer elements such as economic condition. This limitation causes lopsided of this article.
The author brings us to review the historical development of American journalism and analyse the social motivation of objective norm emergence. Some opinion of other scholar were presented and criticized. In conclusion, this article is a significant guide to American journalism research.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes schudson's essay, the objective of norm in american, which explores how and why objective norms developed in american journalism.
  • Explains the inner origin of the objective norm emerging in american journalism. schudson reviews the previous opinion about economic and technological explanations, and argues these opinions ignore the booster that causes the norm to be articulate
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