Australian journalism and war: Professional discourse and the legitimation of the 2003 Iraq invasion
Citation:Dodson, G. (2010). Australian journalism and war: Professional discourse and the legitimation of the 2003 Iraq invasion. Journalism Studies, 11(1), 99-114.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1507
This paper presents an original study of Australian journalistic professionalism as observed during the Iraq War, 2003. Through an analysis of both in-depth interviews conducted with Australian Iraq War journalists and news discourse produced by Australian journalists at Central Command and ‘embedded’ during the Iraq war, it is argued that professionalism provides the framework of intelligibility used by war journalists to produce accounts of war. Professionalism also serves as a ‘regime of truth’, through which the centrality of professional norms in journalism are articulated. The paper then demonstrates that professionalism, however, serves to justify and legitimate journalistic practice and meaning construction while obscuring the co-opted, functional role played by journalism within contemporary war administration and military strategy. Drawing on discourse analytic concepts, this paper argues professionalism operates as a form of ‘ideological fantasy’, which both militarises journalism and conversely journalises the military.