How News Become “News” in Increasingly Complex Ecosystems: Summarizing Almost Two Decades of Newsmaking Reconstructions

Zvi Reich, Aviv Barnoy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


This paper summarizes almost two decades of applying the newsmaking reconstruction method for studying numerous aspects of news processes. The suggested methodology can overcome the shortcomings of traditional methods in changing and decreasingly observable news environments. While suiting a wide array of theories, newsmaking reconstructions are especially built to address the strategies and priorities of practice theory, and its inclusive desire to avoid a priori definitions of practice that curtail the studied terrain. In newsmaking reconstructions, journalists (or other key-newsmakers) are asked to recreate–step by step–how they produced a specific sample of recently published items, systematically covering sources, technologies, practices, evaluations, relationships, and so forth. To avoid a methodological recipe-book tone, the paper suggests not only practical guidelines and tips for scholars who consider using reconstructions, but also a review of more than two dozen studies that used this method in different news contexts and the insights of three researchers who implemented reconstructions in their recent studies. For the first time, the paper compares quantitative and qualitative reconstructions, reflecting on the importance of studying practices and processes in journalism and other disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)966-983
Number of pages18
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2020
Externally publishedYes

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