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      Journalists on COVID-19 Journalism: Communication Ecology of Pandemic Reporting

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          Abstract

          In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, journalists have the challenging task of gathering and distributing accurate information. Journalists exist as a part of an ecology in which their work influences and is influenced by the environment that surrounds it. Using the framework of disaster communication ecology, this study explores the discursive construction of journalism during the COVID-19 crisis. To understand this process in the field of journalism, we unpacked discourses concerning the coronavirus pandemic collected from interviews with journalists during the pandemic and from the U.S. journalism trade press using the Discourses of Journalism Database. Through discourse analysis, we discovered that during COVID-19 journalists discursively placed themselves in a responsible but vulnerable position within the communication ecology—not solely as a result of the pandemic but also from environmental conditions that long preceded it. Journalists found their reporting difficult during the pandemic and sought to mitigate the forces challenging their work as they sought to reverse the flow of misinformation.

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          Most cited references 42

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          Doing double duty

           Dan Berkowitz (2016)
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            Social Media References in Newspapers

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              Metajournalistic Discourse and the Meanings of Journalism: Definitional Control, Boundary Work, and Legitimation

               Matt Carlson (2016)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Am Behav Sci
                Am Behav Sci
                ABS
                spabs
                The American Behavioral Scientist
                SAGE Publications (Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA )
                0002-7642
                1552-3381
                5 February 2021
                Affiliations
                [1 ]East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, USA
                [2 ]Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, USA
                Author notes
                Mildred F. Perreault, East Tennessee State University, 519 Warf-Pickel/P.O. Box 70669, Johnson City, TN 37614, USA. Email: perreault@ 123456etsu.edu
                Article
                10.1177_0002764221992813
                10.1177/0002764221992813
                7868346
                © 2021 SAGE Publications

                This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page ( https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

                Funding
                Funded by: Reynolds Journalism Institute, ;
                Categories
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                corrected-proof
                ts1

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