Time, History and Journalism

  • Chris Nash


Journalism is defined by its temporality – it deals with the present, although the definition of the present is a fraught issue. The chapter commences with a consideration of the two philosophical approaches to thinking about time as past/present/future (A-series time according to Gale and Gell) and as a before/after grid (B-series). These perspectives are both of fundamental importance to journalism’s “web of facticity” in that A-series time addresses journalism’s focus on the present in relation to past and future, and B-series time provides the temporal address of facts for verification purposes. But neither of these perspectives can theorise change, which is fundamental to processes and relationships (Harvey’s relative and relational spatiotemporalities) and to journalism. The chapter considers arguments by Mills and Trouillot about the dynamic relationship of the present to the past in history, in particular in relation to the production of silences, and argues on this basis that there is a mutually complementary and rich relationship between journalism and history as modes of research and knowledge production. The chapter concludes with a reprise of the Harvey-Lefebvre matrix, this time focusing on temporality with respect to the case studies of Haacke and Stone. The chapter concludes that this discussion again validates journalism as a research practice at the disciplinary level.


Free Speech Absolute Time Memory Awareness Contemporary Significance Intellectual Practice 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Nash
    • 1
  1. 1.Monash UniversityCaulfield EastAustralia

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