Given the importance of the news media in managing the symbolic arena of society, a sizeable body of research has accumulated that considers how that arena is con-structed. Klaus Schönbach has touched on this area in his recent entry in the Encyclo-pedia of Communication, in which he questioned how news organizations were led to " synchronize " their news reports to conform to editorial policy, getting journalists to conform to their rules through a number of mechanisms (Schoenbach, 2008). Such questions have led to other Schönbach concerns with news quality and public service norms, and empirical work on characteristics of journalists, their self-concept, interac-tions with politicians, and the larger structure and social situation of the profession. Within this range of concerns, I focus here on a particular form of research into news media performance, the ethnographic study of journalistic organizations and news institutions, a kind of investigation for a time in decline in U.
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