Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Dimensional journalism as a process for understanding: A conceptual framework and cognitive inquiry
by Howard, Clare A., Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2007, 270; 3292124
Abstract (Summary)

"Dimensional Journalism as a Process for Understanding" is a conceptual framework for cognitive inquiry that provides alternative ways of knowing for a more holistic understanding of the world. This framework moves journalism from a stenographic recording of concrete facts of the here and now to levels of internalized understanding that rely on multiple perspectives, metaphor, abstraction and embodied philosophy. This framework requires the journalist to shift from a recorder of the here and now to an active researcher, relying on study, analysis and cumulative experience. This conceptual shift places high value on untold narratives to stimulate critical thinking necessary for change. Dimensional journalism seeks levels of truth and reality by looking beyond the stereotypic, mainstream, well-told narrative and beyond the standards of bimodal objectivity and neutrality, recognizing journalism that repeats the same well-told story from the dominant perspective reinforces the status quo and precludes new levels of analysis and understanding necessary for change.

Dimensional journalism is action research that identifies problems and explores solutions through phenomenology, ethnography and hermeneutics. Dimensional journalism recognizes that authorities and experts present only one dimension of truth which is often an ideological perspective; essential perspectives of truth necessary for a more holistic understanding of the world arise from personal, lived experiences, analysis and synthesis of dimensional voices. This conceptual framework helps create journalism with a goal and a mission but not journalism that advocates ideological positions. Dimensional journalism advocates new levels of understanding that can lead to change and concepts of social justice.

The method of this undertaking is twofold. First, characteristics of dimensional journalism are analyzed in a contextual essay and through a comprehensive literature review. A meta-narrative explores the seminal philosophy behind defining this conceptual framework and the reasons for writing a three-year dimensional journalism series on death and dying. Second, dimensional journalism is further defined and demonstrated in a published three-year, 14-part newspaper series. Daily newspaper coverage of death is primarily as a fact, usually in obituaries and police news because concepts of the processes of death and dying do not fit the epistemological framework of daily beat-structured journalism. Death is covered as an event; the process of death and dying is largely untold. This three-year series explores problems in the process of death and seeks new dimensions of understanding, recognizing that meaningful change comes only through understanding. The epistemology of dimensional journalism as a process for understanding is a framework for incorporating action research into the practice of journalism, recognizing that understanding is based not on facts but on embodied metaphor.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Searl, Stanford, Jr.
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 68/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Journalism
Keywords: Dimensional journalism, Foundational journalism, Journalism, Journalism & democracy, Journalism & social justice, Journalism & truth, Social justice
Publication Number: 3292124
ISBN: 9780549348320
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