This edited collection examines critical incidents journalists have faced across different media contexts, exploring how journalists and other key actors negotiate various aspects of their work.

Ranging from the Rwandan genocide to the News of the World hacking scandal in the UK, this book defines a critical incident as an event that has led journalists to reconsider their routines, roles, and rules. Combining theoretical and practical analysis, the contributors offer a discussion of the key events that journalists cover, such as political turmoil or natural disasters, as well as events that directly involve and affect journalists. Featuring case studies from countries including Australia, Germany, Brazil, Kenya, and the Philippines, the book explores the discourses that critical events have generated, how journalists and other stakeholders have responded to them, and how they have reshaped (or are reshaping) journalistic norms and practices. The book also proposes a roadmap for studying such pivotal moments in journalism.

This one-of-a-kind collection is a valuable resource for students and scholars across journalism studies disciplines, from journalism history, to sociology of news, to digital journalism and political communication.

part Section I|30 pages

Conceptualizing Critical Incidents

part Section II|84 pages

Characteristics of Journalistic Work

chapter 2.2|14 pages

The Voices of Aleppo

Re-evaluating US journalistic practices for news coverage of children during the Syrian Civil War

chapter 2.3|14 pages

Reporting When the Current Media System is at Stake

Explaining news coverage about the initiative on the abolition of public service broadcasting in Switzerland

chapter 2.4|14 pages

“You Can’t Run Away from the Truth”

Journalistic reflections of enduring injustices that shape news-making in Kenya

chapter 2.5|10 pages

Mexico’s 2006 Drug War and Its Impacts on Newsroom Practices

From violence to anonymity and self-censorship

chapter 2.6|10 pages

(Re)Telling the Story

Is the Rwanda genocide a critical incident in journalism?

chapter 2.7|8 pages

False Accusations in a School

A critical incident in Brazilian journalism 25 years later

part Section III|63 pages

Communities Engaging in Interpretation

chapter 3.1|10 pages

Critical Incidents and Auto-Analysis

Photojournalists’ introspections while covering the drug war in the Philippines

chapter 3.3|14 pages

United in Protest

Coverage of attacks against journalists in the 2019 Hong Kong demonstrations as a critical incident

chapter 3.5|12 pages

Lives and Livestreaming

Negotiating social media boundaries in the Christchurch terror attack in New Zealand

part Section IV|71 pages

Consequences of Critical Incidents

chapter 4.2|13 pages

The Spiegel Affair, 1962

The incident that changed German journalism history and mediatized politics

chapter 4.3|14 pages

From Disruptive Power to Trapped Endurance

Egypt’s journalistic agency after the Tahrir Revolution

chapter 4.4|14 pages

An Uncritical Incident?

Journalism and Indigenous deaths in custody in Australia

chapter 5|17 pages

Critical Incidents in Journalism

Conceptualization, characteristics, communities, and consequences