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Non-Commemorative Memory in News Production: Discovering Underlying Motivations for Journalists’ Memory Work

Non-Commemorative Memory in News Production: Discovering Underlying Motivations for Journalists’ Memory Work

Wie Medienschaffende Erinnerungen an historische Ereignisse in ihre journalistische Arbeit einfließen lassen, erforscht dieses Paper, das Irene Broer gemeinsam mit der Erstautorin Dr. Stefanie Trümper im Journal Memory Studies veröffentlicht hat. Die Studie wurde vom interdisziplinären Excellenzcluster Climate System Analysis and Prediction (CliSAP) (EXC 177) an der Universität Hamburg, von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) und dem Kompetenzzentrum Nachhaltige Universität (KNU) gefördert.
 

Memory in journalism has largely been investigated in relation to the commemoration of historical key events. This article sheds light on everyday, less obvious forms of memory in journalism with a focus on non-commemorative memory. We carried out a large-scale content analysis of contemporary newspaper articles (n = 2799) about two historic storm surge disasters in the Netherlands (1953) and Germany (1962) and a subsequent qualitative study based on 10 interviews with Dutch and German journalists. Combining content-based results with actor views enabled us to look below the surface of memory in news reporting and lay bare potential triggers, justifications, and underlying motivations for memory use. We found that journalists frequently use memory to connect past, present, and future, driven by a range of professional, economic, ideological, and cultural motivations that go beyond commemoration. We propose the term “strategic motivations” to better understand the dynamics of memory in journalism.
 
Trümper, S.; Broer, I. G. (2019). Non-commemorative memory in news production: Discovering underlying motivations for journalists’ memory work. Memory Studies. https://doi.org/10.1177/1750698019863158
 

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