Practical mastery of authority, authenticity and disposition

Tim Markham

in The Politics of War Reporting

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780719085284
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702642 | DOI:
Practical mastery of authority, authenticity and disposition

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This chapter describes the main findings of Bourdieusian analysis of interviews with war reporters and their peers and rivals. The specific practices underpinning dispositions presented are discussed: the economy of esotericisation and the economy of ambivalence towards power and danger. The number of women working in war reporting has increased significantly over the last 20 years, and in the interviews there were no explicit suggestions that women should not work as war correspondents. The particularly individualised form of authority that characterises war reporting means that correspondents have a stake in resisting the conventional, institutional game in which they perceive others as being invested. It is plausible that war reporting is sustained by illusio: the collective, and collectively forgotten, sense that makes immersing oneself in a field inherently, instinctively meaningful.

Keywords: war reporters; Bourdieusian analysis; interviews; esotericisation; ambivalence; war reporting; authority

Chapter.  8300 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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