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date: 14 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Several complex changes affect the legacy press system: failing business models and diminished journalistic capacity, the proliferation of dubiously sourced information flowing into the mass media through interconnected digital networks, and news audiences exercising greater choice about what news to follow and believe. These trends raise questions about traditional approaches to understanding news: Where, and with what consequences, does indexing—the journalistic filtering of news sources and content through perceived government power balances—continue to hold sway? Is there evidence for a decline in gatekeeping and an increase in narrative-driven news? What are the consequences of a changing news system for public engagement and democratic legitimacy? This discussion explores the implications of the increasing democratization of truth as the news system loses the capacity to assess evidence, reject groundless narratives, and anchor public debates in reasonable standards.

Keywords: indexing, press-government relations, press politics, news routines, political journalism, news organizations, news reform, journalism crisis, reporters and officials, narrative-driven news, news audiences

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