Anxieties, expectations, and truths of contemporary journalism: A case study of the Mike Daisey scandal
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In the tradition of studies that examine journalistic breaches, this thesis analyzes a journalistic scandal: This American Life's (TAL) radio broadcast and subsequent retraction of the story "Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory" by Mike Daisey. I analyze the text of Daisey's stage show "The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs," the TAL broadcast based on that performance, TAL's retraction, and numerous public written responses to the scandal. This public response, in particular, serves as a reflection on the boundaries, rules, and purpose of journalism in democratic society, as an expression of anxieties over the state of contemporary journalism, and as a debate on the nature of truth. Using an approach that is indebted to the cultural studies of journalism and critical rhetoric, and drawing upon paradigm repair theory and public sphere theories, this thesis furthers previous work on journalistic breaches. I provide an update based on a 2012 example and look specifically at the question of what "truth" is and why people think it is important.
- Communications