Scooped: The Politics and Power of Journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, edited by Martin Hirst, Sean Phelan and Verica Rupar (AUT Media, 2012) 232 pp. $39.99.
As universities have moved to take over journalist training, a rift has developed between the expectations of traditionally trained journalists and the culture of the academy. Old-school newspaper sub-editors and reporters are likely to grit their teeth in rage as they hear members of university journalism departments pontificate about their industry in a simplified, deterministic and reductive way that packages journalism into ‘concepts’.
Scooped, however, does acknowledges that rift, and its presentation illustrates it nicely. It mixes the turgid and insular prose of academics trying to rack up research credits with tales by working journalists who have learned to see behind the story by pounding pavements or making phone calls, and talking to the people involved.