Press clubs, the journalistic field and the practice of journalism in Pakistan
journal contributionposted on 24.02.2012, 14:15 by Roger Denis Dickinson, Bashir Memon
This article reports original research findings about the role of press clubs in Pakistan and shows how media systems and social structures are powerful shaping influences on the practice of journalism. Drawing on Bourdieu’s field theory the article examines field dynamics in Pakistani journalism and the means by which journalists protect themselves and their collective interests. A key element in the Pakistani news world is the press club. The empirical data collected via a survey of 576 journalists and focus group discussions show that divisions in the journalistic field between autonomy and heteronomy are not always clear cut. In Pakistan the press club system helps journalists to pursue their self-interest. This is a reminder that to understand news production and journalism and how they are performed and accomplished, it must be acknowledged that they are forms of social organization that are historically, culturally, and socially situated.