spheres of consensus, legitimate controversy, and deviance

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A conception of journalistic objectivity proposed in 1986 by Daniel Hallin, an American communication theorist, in his analysis of the US reporting of the Vietnam War that sees it as a negotiation between three ideological provinces. The sphere of consensus is a province of implicit agreement wherein journalists present the ‘official line’ as the only correct point of view. The sphere of legitimate controversy is a province of objectivity wherein issues can be debated among different parties representing a plurality of views. The sphere of deviance is a province excluding or ridiculing those whose views are considered to be too radical, irresponsible, or even dangerous to be given a fair hearing. See also impartiality.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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