Technological Practices, News Production Processes and Journalistic Witnessing: Hong Kong journalists in the 2011 Japan earthquake

Bess Y. Wang*, Francis L. F. Lee, Haiyan Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines the practices of journalistic witnessing in the case of Hong Kong journalists' coverage of the Japan earthquake in March 2011. While research and discussions of journalistic witnessing have primarily focused on eye-witnessing through audio-visual media, this study explores the varieties of journalistic witnessing through a comparison between print and television journalism. This study argues that technological practices, on-site options and constraints, and the journalists' own role conceptions shape whether and how journalistic witnessing is performed. In the case under study, television journalists' emphasis on the notion of presence and the technological practice of live reporting have constrained their capacity to perform as witnesses. In contrast, with their on-site options narrowed by the constraints in the post-disaster environment, print journalists produced a type of quasi-survivor witnessing account based on the sensibilities of being a journalist-traveler from Hong Kong.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-506
Number of pages16
JournalJournalism Studies
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication

User-Defined Keywords

  • disaster coverage
  • domestication
  • Japan earthquake
  • role conception
  • technological practice
  • witnessing

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