Strangers in strange lands: a hermeneutic inquiry into becoming a journalist.
Authors: Bissell, A.
This research explores how students become the journalists of the future and the implications for journalism education. Drawing principally upon the work of Hans- Georg Gadamer, a practical application of philosophical hermeneutics is advocated to holistically venture beyond the theory-practice dualism that typically hallmarks journalism education today; the importance of a reflexive sense of journalistic being is instead presented as integral to the aspiring journalist’s reimagining of an evolving media world. New conceptual ideas are introduced in this inquiry. Firstly, a hermeneutically-inspired Journalistic Becoming is defined and investigated through the case studies of ten former journalism students; indeed, exploration of Journalistic Becoming’s underlying and shaping conditions is commenced and the experiences that engender them considered. Secondly, this thesis offers a hermeneutic approach to the understanding and interpretation of Journalistic Becoming through the historically mediated pursuit of researcher-researched shared meaning. A Reflective Hermeneutic Model was designed for this purpose. It sought to examine my relationship with journalistic tradition in relation to that of the former journalism students who now work in journalism. Indeed, I aspired to utilise my own journalistic past through deepening my Journalistically Effected Consciousness and Imaginative Journalistic Openness which are also defined. Finally, a culminating vision of a new Journalistic Becoming pedagogy is presented and advocated to assist strangers to academia (former journalists) in their guidance of students – the strangers to journalism.