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Attending to The Reckoning and the Voiceless: Multiple Truths, Systems Approaches to Journalism

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Handbook of Global Media Ethics


What would a multivoice history of the present tells us about the role that journalism organizations can and should play in the ongoing reckoning in the field of journalism? How would they address issues of uncertainty and truth given prior harms and persistent critiques related to race, indigeneity, gender, and intersectional concerns? Assumptions that narrowly assume funding and technology are the main challenges for journalism miss the more profound crisis facing journalism. The legacy of journalism’s “view from nowhere” and a central function of giving voice to the voiceless, for example, aren’t adequate to attend to the increasingly globalized systems and dynamic, responsive audiences that journalists are required to navigate. Systems journalism (drawing on Callison C, Young ML, Reckoning: journalism’s limits and possibilities. Oxford University Press, New York, 2020) offers a distinctive approach to considering whose voice matters and how journalism might contribute to communal resilience, historical understandings of societal structures, and robust civic spaces among global and regional audiences that include diverse publics.

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  1. 1.

    Malcolm, The Journalist and the Murderer, 3.

  2. 2.

    Carey, “The Problem of Journalism History,” 90.

  3. 3.


  4. 4.

    Mattar, “Objectivity is a Privilege;” and Lowery, “A Reckoning over Objectivity.”

  5. 5.

    Callison and Young, Reckoning.

  6. 6.


  7. 7.

    Ibid., 207.

  8. 8.

    Haraway, “Situated Knowledges;” and TallBear, “Standing with and Speaking as Faith”.

  9. 9.

    Society of Professional Journalists, “Code of Ethics.”

  10. 10.

    The Nobel Prize.

  11. 11.

    Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?”

  12. 12.

    Said, “Orientalism,” referenced in The Post-Colonial Studies Reader, edited by Bill Ashcroft, Gareth Griffiths, and Helen Tiffin. New York: Routledge, 1995, 32.

  13. 13.

    Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?”

  14. 14.

    See Anderson and Robertson, Seeing Red; Byrd, The Transit of Empire; Durham, “On the Relevance, 8”; Haraway, “Situated Knowledges;” Hall, “Whites of Their Eyes;” Hunt, “Representing Colonial Violence;” Rhodes, “The Visibility of Race;” Ross, Bearing Witness; Steiner, “Solving Journalism’s Post-truth Crisis;” TallBear, “Standing With.”

  15. 15.

    Carey references a quote by Kenneth Burke, James Carey: A Critical Reader, but does not include a citation, 91.

  16. 16.

    Ball, “FreeMix Radio;” Rao and Wasserman, “Global Media Ethics Revisited;” Shah, “Modernization, Marginalization, and Emancipation.”

  17. 17.

    Rao and Wasserman, “Global Media Ethics Revisited,” 31.

  18. 18.

    Cole, The Skin We’re In, 78.

  19. 19.

    Ibid., 7.

  20. 20.

    Audra Simpson, Mohawk Interruptus, 97.

  21. 21.

    Roy, The 2004 Sydney Peace Prize.

  22. 22.

    TallBear, “Standing With.”

  23. 23.

    Haraway, “Situated Knowledges.”

  24. 24.

    Callison and Young, Reckoning.

  25. 25.

    Marcus and Fischer, Anthropology as Cultural Critique.

  26. 26.

    Byrd, The Transit of Empire.


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Callison, C., Young, M.L. (2021). Attending to The Reckoning and the Voiceless: Multiple Truths, Systems Approaches to Journalism. In: Ward, S.J.A. (eds) Handbook of Global Media Ethics. Springer, Cham.

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