Only a tiny proportion of the cultural regulatory system to which people must
relate can be communicated through signs in the street or in law
regulations. A considerably greater part of our understanding of the
circumstances and restrictions of the community happens through informal
talk, for instance in the form of gossip. The media scandal as a phenomenon
reveals these often unspoken and emotionally regulated cultural agreements.
It makes the boundaries of cultural life visible, allowing us to examine
those boundaries by talking about them and exploring them emotionally
together. What the book has brought out is the circular character of the
news food chain where gossip, journalism, the exercise of public authority,
and political considerations form an intricate network, without clear
hierarchies or directions for the flows of information. In this sense,
gossip-influenced and gossip-dependent journalism is not by definition bad
or inferior. Undoubtedly, more studies on news journalism need to be
conducted with respect to its oral, informal methods – not least now, in the
midst of the shift of journalism from industrial production to an
emotionally charged networked environment.
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