Relationship between sociology and journalism


relationship between sociology and journalism

Sep 29, One of the purposes of journalism is to let us know what happened that day, or increasingly what is happening right now. Sociology has the. The rarity of this research opportunity in the context of frequently poor relations between sociologists and broadcasters makes it worth reflecting upon. reflections on the relationship between journalism, social science, and the Pittsburgh with the relationship between journalistic and sociological methods and.

Mr Slessenger similarly acknowledged the study's descriptive accuracy. He said he had been surprised by the extent to which a 'system' actually existed, since it was not something people noticed when they were working.

He said that my fieldwork had left 'no trail of muddy boots'. Both men said they felt that the study had got as close to the reality of BBC News as was possible for an outsider. This seemed an auspicious moment to ask for further access in order to develop the thesis for publication. Both Mr Taylor and Mr Slessenger were amenable to this suggestion.

In the event, gaining access to Television News in Summer proved to be rather difficult. The account of my efforts which follows is Between Sociology and Journalism presented because it shows so instructively how bureaucratic obstacles may be raised without thereby constituting a formal denial of access.

This highlights the precariousness of the researcher-broadcaster relationship. It is, after all, the broadcaster who has the power to admit, and it is the researcher who is the supplicant. This relationship is founded entirely upon goodwill and is not grounded in any institutionalised right of access for independent research.

Whether such a right should be instituted, together with due safeguards for the broadcaster, is worth debating, since it would remove a major source of friction. In considering the problems which arose in it is not my intention to make criticisms, but rather to show what may be learned from the experience.

It was integral to the study, and its very atypicality revealed clearly what could have happened if I had prejudiced my bona fides. A background factor should be noted. Byany casual comings and goings to the BBC to see newsmen ofmy acquaintance had been made quite impossible by the new, stricter security procedures.

These, which involved a checking of passes at the entrances to Broadcasting House and Television Centre, had been instituted after IRA bombings on the British mainland in In Mayever optimistic, I wrote to Television News, assuming on the basis of discussions earlier that year that access would be forthcoming. The reply asked me to be precise about 'the extent of your further observation so that we could fix, say, a particular week when you'd come in.

I should also prefer it later, rather than earlier: Concerning this, the letter read, 'The reason why I'm shying away from "erratic comings and goings" is that, as you know, we have a fair number of visitors, and unless we can control them, even good friends are not always welcome. Of course, I shall look forward to bumping into you'. While this explanation was perfectly reasonable, the conditions set out were more restrictive than I had hoped.

The classification of me as a 'good friend' with its implicit appeal to be understanding was significant, since, as I was later to learn, other research currently going on was clearly being classified as hostile. When I telephoned Television News to try and liberalise the arrangement I was asked to fix some specific dates, and told that a chief sub of my acquaintance would be 'overseeing' the visit.

Next, I P. Schlesinger contacted an assistant editor with whom I had always had a good relationship and asked him to intercede on the ground that I would not be a nuisance. This approach failed, as, several days later, he told me that the existing arrangements would have to stand. I then wrote to Television News saying that the period between the 9th and 22nd July would suit me. I received the following reply: I do not wish to appear to be "rationing" you, but our people here have become a bit sensitive about the surfeit of visitors, and you would be risking your reputation-excellent so far-for sinking into the woodwork as required, if you appear too often.

This argument was not acceptable. The grounds offered for limiting my access were completely genuine, moreover, since, as I discovered on a lightning tour of the television newsroom there was resentment towards outsiders, and some local difficulties. The first day which I spent with the chief sub was really quite bizarre. I was kept out of the newsroom, and after being shown round the news training section of marginal concern to my current interests I completed a very short day by watching a video-eassette of the BBC programme Inside the News.

To be sure, this was not the warp and woof of fieldwork. The chief sub was perfectly amiable, and promised to make arrangements for me to accompany a film crew. He stressed that things were 'sensitive' in the newsroom. After this one day, matters were left hanging in the air.

I wrote to the chief sub to thank him, since he was now clearly in loco parentis, and asked once again whether I could spend a couple of days in the newsroom to update the study, stressing that I would be very- careful not to offend anyone.

The cold winds of exclusion were still at gale force, however, and I was informed that I could spend between 2. This, it was said, would be enough to convey what was currently going on. I took this opportunity, and was quite surprised at the unprecedented hostility encountered from journalists with whom I had hitherto had cordial relations. Those few hours were sufficient to indicate a crisis of morale in the Television News Department. A couple of years later further questioning Between Sociology and Journalism rounded out the story.

The fact of my exclusion was not a product of my fevered imaginings. It had been deliberate, although, since I had established considerable goodwill I could not be refused access point- blank.

Three reasons were advanced to explain the situation. First, precisely at the time I had made my request, Television News was being visited by a researcher from the Glasgow Media Group.

The relations between this research team and the BRC were evidently exceedingly poor. This had tended to cancel out my own credit, and would have made it necessary for me to work very hard to re-establish relations of trust. Television News management simply did not want the bother of further upsets on the shop-floor, and this was understandable. A second fact, as I had discovered, was the axing of News Extra.

The Department was at the time going through its seasonal round of bargaining for the Autumn schedules, and the restructuring of news outputs had lowered morale. There was some anxiety for this not to be aggravated by outside attention. Lastly, there was a feeling of exposure to the gaze of Annan, particularly because there had been much public discussion of news and current affairs.

Viewed in retrospect, these factors had clearly combined to make an untenable field situation. More in hope than with conviction I decided to contact Radio News and try to pursue the fieldwork there. I was surprised to receive a cordial invitation without strings attached, and subsequently spent three weeks in the Radio News Department filling out my understanding of the control system, the creation of corporate identity, the role of gossip, and studying the handling of particular stories.

There were no problems about gaining entry to Broadcasting House since I was provided with a letter for the security guards. The Radio News Department, being less in the limelight, had tended to be more casual in its approach to access. Therefore, to make comparisons between the two departments is not to suggest that the one was more helpful than the other, since that was simply not so.

What this difference does underline is the considerable extent to which they functioned autonomously so far as my research was concerned.

I did not realise how much this was so until the problem of access at Television Centre first arose. This casts doubts upon any crude view of the BBC as a hyper-integrated monolith. This point is of particular importance for researchers making individual approaches for access.

relationship between sociology and journalism

It suggests that in certain circumstances Departments may have sufficient autonomy to P. Schlesinger offer facilities, and that approaches at this level may payoff. Regional and local broadcasting have been quite neglected since virtually all research efforts have been directed towards the national production units. In JanuaryI began to circulate the completed thesis to newsmen I knew would be interested in reading it. It is difficult to summarise the reactions of some twenty individuals. Most general was the view that the study was 'accurate' and 'objective', and if anything that it was not sufficiently conclusive or prescriptive about where change should come.

I had been offered a contract for a book and was looking for reactions which would help me reshape the manuscript. One of the curiosities of these repeated requests for an authoritative view was the complete absence of any written comments. In addition, there seemed to be no formal channel through which one could obtain such a statement.

It was never clear who, at an official level, had read the study or whether the views given to me orally by senior newsmen were simply personal ones or vehicles for a collective opinion. It would be useful for ongoing research to be discussed in a series of seminars of broadcasting personnel at all levels of the operation. Mr Desmond Taylor did, in fact, agree to see the study.

The following month I received a note from Mr Slessenger which said that he was reading the manuscript on Mr Taylor's behalf. Mr Slessenger was now Managing Editor, News and had taken a most constructive attitude towards the research all along.

In early April he telephoned to arrange a meeting and said he felt the study-which he described as 'more a kind of observational anthropology than sociology'-would be of interest to the layman.

Subsequently we had a longer, cordial discussion at which no major points of criticism were raised. This was the nearest to an official response I recei.

I took the opportunity of asking whether it would now be possible to do more research in Television News in order to revise the thesis for publication. After an interview, Mr Todd and I came to an arrangement identical to the one with Radio News the previous year and I was provided with a letter for the security check.

While it was clear that this additional work was for publication no requests were made to vet the content of Between Sociology and Journalism anything written, nor even to see the finished product.

This liberal attitude was characteristic of the BBC's dealings with me. The final phase of fieldwork at Television News enabled me to explore the effects of a change of Editor, to have discussions on Northern Ireland, and to conduct some detailed case studies of particular stories.

To conclude this section it is worth considering whether anything may be learned from the quite fortuitous way in which I was given access to the BBC. Most recent British studies have taken place during rather tightly demarcated periods of time and for specific purposes. Elliott's study 10 of documentary production focussed on the making of a single television series.

Burns 12 whose two sets of interviews took place a decade apart comes closest to my own experience. It is evident from his book that the possibility of returning to the field enabled him to become aware of organisational changes. This is undoubtedly one great advantage of a study based upon a series of visits.

This also, incidentally, forestalls the stock argument that case studies are necessarily invalid since they do not deal with the typical, but only the aberrant.

A further advantage of being able to return to the field is the opportunity it gives to rethink one's view and formulate new lines of inquiry which can actually be carried out. It would be going too far to recommend as ideal what was essentially the product of an accident.

For there were disadvantages too. One, in particular, was the stress involved in the constant need for renegotiation with its attendant uncertainties. It seems that an ideal balance could be found, however, if the broadcasting organisations, and other media, were willing to co-operate. What would be best would be for researchers to be allowed access to the production process for discrete periods of time to study specific aspects of the medium in question.

There should be an opportunity for a return to check up on the validity of earlier findings, and also to develop new themes which were not apparent through a lack of focus in the earlier stages. Demarcated periods would minimise the nuisance value of researchers although this should anyway be kept to a minimum as a matter of professional practice. During such periods outside the field the researchers could write up their findings, and circulate them throughout the organisation for P.

Schlesinger discussion by all who are interested. This procedure will not abolish disagreement between researchers and those they study. For, as I argue later, this is inevitably grounded in institutional differences. But it would de-mystify the research process itself, possibly contributing to a more tolerant view of its difficulties. It would also generate new data for researchers, who can learn a lot from explicit discussion of their findings.

And it would certainly institutionalise self-critical reflection amongst media personnel. The research role At the outset of the fieldwork my role was explained to the more senior personnel present at meetings I attended by Mr Slessenger and Mr Taylor.

The turn-over of staff and continual changes of personnel due the shift system meant that I continually had to explain my presence. While eventually many journalists knew who I was, there were always some who did not. My usual formula was that I was a sociologist writing a PhD thesis later a book on the news operation. During the first phase, when such an idea still seemed quite novel, the journalists were curious and even flattered that their work should be the object of 'respectable' academic attention, although there was also some scepticism about what an outsider could learn.

In the second phase, with the controversy over Birt and Jay's articles in The Times, 13 and the publication of Bad News 14 the news itself had become news, and the scepticism seemed even more marked. However, it must be said that hardly anyone refused co-operation, and many were positively enthusiastic. In general, the roles assigned to me by newsmen who did not at first know what I was doing underlined the observable similarities between ethnography and journalism.

Frequently, I was seen as a trainee sub- editor learning the tricks of the trade by talking to his more experienced elders. This interpretation was understandable given the existence of the BBC's News training scheme and the rough correspondence in age between the trainees and myself.

Another version had me classified as a journalist who had come in to write about the BBC, or alternatively as one in search of work inside the News Department. Since there had been visits from management consultants before the fieldwork began I was occasionally thought to be a 'time and motion man'.

None of these Between Sociology and Journalism misconceptions was allowed to persist. In general, my personal style was self-effacing, and I took care not to proclaim my commitments or convictions. There were several reasons for this. First, so far as possible, I did not want to pre-form people's responses to me-although the very fact of being an outsider, and a sociologist to boot, necessarily had effects. Second, my continued admission depended on unobtrusiveness.

Third, it fairly rapidly became clear that there was an acceptable personal style in the BBC. Burns has called it 'urbanity'. Being uncommitted politically is a central component of this style, and any serious 'axe-grinding' is frowned upon.

I was made acutely aware of this by a number of newsmen who thought that my background must have been subjected to a security vetting. Many points concerning vetting made during the research have been subsequently independently asserted in the press e. The Guardian, 21st and 26th May This does not make them true, but I assumed that they were. Captivation and disengagement The process whereby I got under the BBC's skin was also one whereby it got under mine.

There was a time when it was exceedingly difficult to detach oneself from the persuasiveness of corporate ideology. The process whereby I arrived at this point may usefully be labelled 'captivation'; the gradual retreat I call 'disengagement'. IS This experience is typical in ethnographic research. In many respects a high degree of personal involvement in the field being observed is desirable. It enables one to penetrate a given culture more thoroughly.

I shared the excitements of bulletin production, the gossip about promotions and private lives, the overall sense ofbeing in a charismatic organisation exposed to the political winds. There came a time when people on the desk would make 'serious' jokes about my being there for so long that I knew the job better than they did.

To 'work' through the newsday shifts, eat, drink, and talk with the newsmen brought me quite close to some in personal sympathies. While I was not a participant in the process of making the news, nor was I eventually just an observer. The research style adopted meshed so well with the way in which corporate identity was expressed on an individual level that eventually I had the somewhat vertiginous realisation that my own commitments and convictions were in the process of becoming thoroughly submerged.

In essence, I became partially socialised, and this explains P. Schlesinger why at one point it became so difficult to generate problems for investigation. While the kind of rapport established was essential for an effective analysis, it went beyond necessary good relations and began to exact a certain sociological price. One instance, my analysis of Northern Ireland coverage, illustrates this point eloquently.

When the fieldwork first began the BBC had just been assailed by the British Government for screening 'The Question of Ulster', and a debate was under way concerning the censorship of news from Northern Ireland. I realised that this was of importance, but certainly had no strategy for investigating the BBC's handling of Northern Ireland coverage, other than wishing to talk to people about it. Eventually, inI began to see more clearly how Northern Ireland was a crucial illustration of the BBC's complex relationship to the State.

InI simply saw it as a potential talking point. In fact, it proved to be no real talking point at all. I did touch on it in a number of interviews, and even collected some field material germane to the question of censorship-reporters' opinions, the ground rules for Northern Ireland coverage. But quite rapidly it ceased to be a matter for investigation. In some respects my loss of interest is not too surprising.

I had no political commitment to sustain it, for one, and the subject dropped out of political debate by mid, to reappear only sporadically afterwards. Inside the News Departments there was no open critical discussion of the problems of journalism in Northern Ireland. The position of broadcasting management was made available through public statements, and such questioning of executives as I attempted in the early stages produced restatements of known positions.

The coverage of Northern Ireland itself, while certainly 'big' until was already heavily routinised.

Relationship between Sociology and Mass Media Communication

In short, therefore, objective conditions in the field militated against sustaining an investigation. There was more to it than that, however. Reinforcing the inauspicious objective conditions was a subtle subjective change through which I began to steer away from the subject because I had to some extent adopted the Corporation's view of it as taboo. When I came to write my thesis, therefore, Northern Ireland was discussed in a dozen or so pages at the end of a general chapter on impartiality.

I certainly raised the issue of censorship but my views were very equivocal, and I showed no full appreciation of the way in which constraints actually operated. Captivation, therefore, produced a kind of suppression effect, a self-censorship malgre soi. I was certainly Between Sociology and Journalism uneasy about this, as in the methodological appendix to my thesis I justified my lack of investigative vigour by the following arguments: In retrospect, my second argument was plainly wrong.

Some journalists could have enlightened me during the first phase; whether they would have is another matter. Undoubtedly the climate was much easier during the second phase of fieldwork, and even then anxieties about confidentiality were great. The other three arguments still seem persuasive. But this persuasiveness only exists if one takes into account the fact that I was actually able to do something later on which I had felt was impossible earlier.

Relationship between Sociology and Mass Media Communication

How was I to know then that the BBC would still be so generous about access? Had it not been, the price would have been high because the material I had gathered would not have been adequate to document the argument I later developed. And I would probably not have been able to develop that argument anyway without more time in the field. When, finally, I came to write a separate chapter on Northern Ireland in AutumnI found that the suppression effect had led me to under-utilise material gathered in my earliest field notes.

In other words, even the thesis could have contained more details than actually it did. Disengagement from the field material only really began after completion of the second draft of the thesis. Integral to this process was the gradual reassertion of the primacy of sociological concerns. The main effort of simply decoding a journalistic setting was in the past; it was now possible to address the material I had gathered more theoretically.

My own sociological interests had shifted from the micro to the macro level, and from more phenomenological to more structural concerns.

Having a job in a sociology department was in sharp contrast with the intellectual isolation of writing a PhD. The rapid growth of academic work on news also forced my attention in new directions and reminded me of older concerns which had become more peripheral while in the field.


The process of disengagement enabled the fieldwork in phase two to address a number of themes much more sharply, and to make the process of gathering material more efficient. Schlesinger II The BBG's response, Katz, and criticism An ethnography necessarily gives an account of a particular social group which is at variance with that group's view of itself.

Or at least it should. When a sociological account is challenged by those whom it analyses that challenge is itselfa worthy object ofstudy. It should reveal a great deal about the core values of the group in question.

The BBC's reaction to my study Putting 'Reality' Together is instructive in precisely this way, since it represents a kind of ideological counter-offensive in a continuing war of position. The arguments presented also relate closely to the current debate over broadcaster-researcher relations, and the vexed question of the place and direction of media research.

Can one reasonably expect such research to have an effect on the policy and practice of media organisations? The answer would seem to lie in whether one conceives of sociological work as external to, and critical of, existing media structures. Or alternatively, whether such work should be embedded in them, and made relevant to the concerns of executives and producers.

The Katz report contained a review of much existing media research, a set of recommendations as to the way in which such research should be developed, and a view of the place of academic research in relation to the needs of the broadcasters. The details, while of interest, need not detain us.

The main points made here concern the view Katz takes of the broadcaster-researcher relationship. While noting the 'strained' relations between these two groups, Katz nonetheless proposes the view that there has been a 'striking convergence' of late in both their ideas and outlooks. For those in what Katz designates 'critical' as opposed to 'evaluative' or 'policy-orientated' research the scepticism is particularly marked. For Katz sees 'critical' research as being conducted at a 'greater distance' from the broadcaster than the other two.

Katz amplifies this phrase by saying 'this is not the equivalent of saying that certain kinds of research require access to the organisation while others do not'.

Katz's statement that his report 'clearly leans in the direction of research that is 'close' to the broadcaster' carries the implication that critical research should be consigned to a limbo well-funded if circumstances permit there to make portentous and harmless noises off-stage. Katz's view of broadcasters as a 'diagnostic profession' 19 plainly locates him amongst the endorsers of myths rather than the debunkers.

By taking public service goals at face value his orientation necessarily implies business as usual: As Gaye Tuchman 20 has pointed out, Katz thus 'falls prey to the professional ideology of communicators'-and it is this very ideology that a sociology of the media must needs confront. As regards studies of newsmaking professionals, Tuchman sees them, as I do, as inherently challenging the concept of journalistic professionalism itself, a concept which is self- legitimising rather than self-critical.

Earlier, I gave an analysis of my personal experience of the process of captivation. One might suggest that Katz's entire report reflects a 'captivated' view of the way in which research should be conducted: James Halloran has also made this point, and has linked it to his long argued-for view that the media 'have an obligation to support independent mass communications research fully, by granting access to their operations and by providing other essential facilities'.

Most fundamentally, it presupposes a more extensive and penetrating democratisation of British society than presently exists, and is not therefore really on the agenda.

It also raises, but does not resolve, the question of what structures are to be created to feed in independent critical research to the media, and to ensure that such work is in some ways considered in policy-making. Nonetheless, as a radical statement which highlights present shortcomings Halloran's position is useful, especially when contrasted with the anodyne proclamations of Katz.

The BBC's response to Putting 'Reality' Together would tend to support the view of those who are sceptical of Katz's claim that a great meeting of minds is just around the corner. It came in the form of a P. First, while conceding that such work was worthwhile, Mr Francis raised doubts about the limits in principle of studying newsroom routines and editorial structures and of drawing conclusions about their effects on the output.

Rather, he argued, it was important to recognise the role of other structures inside broadcasting in creating the BBC's ethos, and to recognise the actual dispersal of control inside the BBC. The last point was amplified in a rebuttal of my analysis of the system of editorial control by a restatement of the traditional BBC position on 'responsibility'. Second, Mr Francis argued that the 'sociological' approach his quotes failed to appreciate the determining role of the time-factor in news production, and the need to pass on the news as soon as possible.

This particular view had earlier received full and more coherent expression in a speech by another of the BBC's theorists. Sir Charles Curran, when still Director-General, accounted for the current structures of journalism in the BBC by arguing that technology determines time-eycles and thus the forms of organisation of news production. The out-of-dateness argument was a main strand in the rebuttal of my analysis of Northern Ireland coverage, which was also held to misconstrue the relationship between the BBC and the State.

Out-of-dateness was also used against my contention that no significant changes could take place in the nature of broadcast news without a restructuring of the place of broadcasting in British society. Against this, Mr Francis cited a number of changes which he saw as of fundamental importance.

These arguments may be reduced to three fundamental propositions: These three propositions constitute a coherent defence against sociological findings, and are, at the same time, a positive assertion of the integrity of journalistic professionalism.

In fact, they go further and deny the entire credibility of the sociological analysis of journalism which is fair enough and, as will be seen, are to be found in one variant or another in others' responses to similar research. It seemed to be worth the effort to go behind the official view.

Some illuminating comments came from one senior executive. The collective reaction in News management, he said, was that the book had been somewhat different from the thesis. Whereas the thesis had been largely straightforward, the book had extrapolated, theorised about motives, practices and attitudes in a way which went further than the facts justified. While the methods employed, 'meticulous observation and recording' were 'a change for the better from some sociologists' it had been expected that the result would also be different.

Particular exception was taken to the chapter on Northern Ireland which had received little attention in the thesis. In general, this conversation seemed to indicate that as a 'friendly' sociologist I had disappointed those in authority by reverting to hostile type.

This view was given more sophisticated voice by another senior executive who was by no means fundamentally opposed to the study or research in general. Conversely, the use of reflexivity, prized by sociologists, is up to a point the logical conclusion of the drive towards autonomy: In this sense, rather than discussing different degrees of autonomy, it would be more relevant to discuss the different forms and uses it has developed in different areas and at different times.

Finally, it is the component attributed to autonomy in the definition of group identity that seems to account for the current reversal of the balance of power between the two disciplines. It seems, then, that the principles on which sociologists operate prevent them from becoming involved in these new patterns in the balance of power The best way of assessing these transformations is therefore to investigate the reciprocal uses by journalists and sociologists of their respective disciplines and how they mutually benefit from doing so.

There is no doubt that studies on the uses of expert discourse in the written press, including by sociologists, have generated the most numerous analyses. Finally, a picture emerges of the processes governing the legitimation of speech and the tensions between journalists and sociologists that can result. Many of her remarks shed light on the history of the division of labour between universities and professional sectors in the socialization and professionalization of young journalists Neveu, This example also points to the relative lack of success of sociological discourse in gaining legitimacy outside the academic sphere as a way of giving an account of society: Although uses of the media in sociology are inextricable from uses of sociology by the media, and have already been the subject of several studies, we felt that some of these were not sufficiently investigated in depth.

This is the case, in particular, of the uses made by humanities researchers of the vast corpus of material offered by the written press, radio and television The first is the discrepancy between the increasing number of works describing different survey techniques, sources used by the humanities and the virtual non-existence of specific studies on the possible uses of journalistic sources 33which are often presented as one written source among many.

Correlatively, the second discrepancy is between the results of sociological analyses of journalism and their low level of dissemination in other fields of the humanities. While many studies set out to describe the complex structure of the media sphere and continually stress the increasing number and specialization of press titles, despite studies that have emerged in recent years on different types of specialized press titles, involvement from scientists is still mainly concentrated in the national daily papers even though these are a minuscule part of the media landscape in France Marchetti, The selection of sources seems closely linked to their degree of legitimacy, in other words their proximity to the objects that are most representative of the academic sphere.

We know that, depending on the media chosen as a source of information, the connections that ultimately emerge can be very different. In this sense, a reflexive view of scientific selection in the media can help to further investigations into certain mechanisms that censor scientific work, for example why certain objects are taken for granted as worthy of interest, which sometimes reinforce the censorship occurring in the field of journalism itself for example, issues reported in the least legitimate media are often far-removed from those featured in the national daily press Champagne, Marchetti, Park in his time, that a sociologist is a kind of super-reporter with more time and more means to conduct enquiries?

He suggests that the main difference in the conduct of enquiries lies in the use of multiple sources by sociologists and the use of preferred sources by journalists, which in effect has to do with the amount of time devoted to the enquiry.

Another important difference is that reflexive practice, in other words scientific control of the enquiry process and the position of the enquirer within it, is much more elaborate in sociology than in journalism.

These fundamental traits of journalistic practice radically separate them from the scientific activity of sociologists, whose overriding concern is to understand, from a distance, the objective transformations of social structures.

relationship between sociology and journalism

To summarize, journalists have to work with common wisdom while the primary aim of sociologists is to break away from common wisdom, which means that their scientific discourse is not often expressible in the social sphere.

Rather than a reading in terms of two opposed professional spheres, these contributions prompt a dialectic and political approach to the competitive relations that link the two together.

From this point of view, any analysis of relationships between journalists and sociologists must consider the changes that have occurred in the education system and how these have been used, mainly by the middle and upper classes.

For a different point of view, see also the account by Dunning Finally, some journalists also publish academic works Ferenczi, On this subject, we would like to thank G.

Perreira for their contributions, P. Prochasson for having agreed to discuss the papers and qA. Patte for their contributions to the development of the seminar. Regarding journalism, see Delporte ; Ferenzci ; Martin ; Ruellan Wilenskystudies on how a group becomes a profession essentially focus on verifying that the group is endowed with the various statutory attributes considered as constituent elements of a profession. It could even be added that these relationships also owe something to the local configurations in which they develop; for an analysis of relationships between journalists and magistrates that supports this view, see Roussel On this point, see Champagne, Marchetti