Consensus and dissent after terror: Editorial policies in times of crisis

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Thorbjørnsrud, Kjersti & Tine Ustad Figenschou (2017) Consensus and dissent after terror: Editorial policies in times of crisis, Journalism. DOI: 10.1177/1464884916657519.

​This article analyses the role of central editors in constructing a national debate in the Norwegian media after the 2011 Oslo terror attacks. A broad literature has documented that after crisis, mainstream media move away from their everyday critical function to a ritual type of journalism that fosters adherence to shared values and support for national authorities. Based on in-depth interviews with debate editors, this article analyses how this type of national crisis discourse is substantiated and guarded through editorial decisions and policies. Second, it gives insights into how changes in the perceived climate of opinion and increasingly vocal critical voices gradually affect editorial practices and challenge consensus. Theoretically, the article combines perspectives from a critical approach (the media as channels for political authorities during crisis) and a cultural approach (the media as constitutive for resilience and recovery) to contribute to the understanding of crisis journalism in a multi-platform, multi-directional media landscape.

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