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The FixersLocal News Workers' Perspectives on International Reporting$
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Lindsay Palmer

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190680824

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190680824.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

Conceptualizing the Story

Conceptualizing the Story

(p.34) 1 Conceptualizing the Story
The Fixers

Lindsay Palmer

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses specifically on the labor of conceptualizing the story. When news fixers describe this element of their work, they tend to emphasize three things: (1) their role in anticipating and successfully getting the story that the journalist originally wants, (2) their role in suggesting new story ideas to journalists who either do not know which events to cover or whose story ideas have not panned out, and (3) their role in educating visiting journalists on the political, social, and historical background knowledge that they sometimes very sorely lack. While some might argue that this element of news fixers’ labor points to their dubious efforts at slanting the story in a “biased” direction, the chapter argues that news fixers’ narratives about conceptualizing the story instead illuminate the fact that there is rarely one, immutable story to be found. From fixers’ perspectives, the journalistic story is an effort at lending coherence to a much more complex reality, one defined by competing angles and experiences. The chapter also shows that without the news fixers’ more extensive background knowledge, visiting journalists run the risk of grossly misrepresenting the people and places being covered.

Keywords:   foreign correspondents, international journalism, international news, fixers, story, objectivity

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