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How News Agencies Produce News

Barbara Czarniawska

Have you ever wondered how organizations decide which news is important? This insightful book portrays in detail everyday work in three news agencies: Swedish TT, Italian ANSA and the worldwide Reuters. This unique study is about organizing rather than journalism, revealing two accelerating phenomena: cybernization (machines play a more and more central role in news production) and cyborgization (people rely more and more on machines). Barbara Czarniawska reveals that technological developments lead to many unexpected consequences and complications.
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Chapter 3: TT, or a Day at Work

Barbara Czarniawska


1 In this chapter I present what I see as a typical workday at a news agency. I have chosen TT as the example, because it is the smallest of the three organizations and therefore the easiest to present. The days at other agencies consisted of a multiplication of the activities described here. Strikingly, although the narrative focuses on single events as recounted by single persons (in interviews), it always depicts actions embedded in a much wider action net. Each action is connected to previous actions, to future actions, and many other contemporary actions. THE LAYOUT OF THE FACTORY Ownership and Organizational Structure TT is a privately owned media syndicate comprising the parent company, Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå AB (TT), and the totally owned subsidiaries, TT Spektra and Scanpix. The owners of TT are the following newspaper companies:2 ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● 1 Aftonbladet Hierta AB Svenska Dagbladet AB Stampen AB AB Kvällstidningen Expressen AB Dagens Nyheter Sydsvenska Dagbladets AB VLT AB AB Östgöta Correspondenten Norrköpings Tidningars AB AB Uppsala Nya Tidning 20 percent 10 percent 10 percent 10 percent 10 percent 10 percent 5 percent 5 percent 5 percent 5 percent 2 I would like to thank all my interlocutors at TT, and my colleagues who found time in their busy schedules to comment on my text: Lennart Weibull, Monica Löfgren Nilsson, and Bengt Johansson. Many thanks to Barbara Covellin who offered me a roof over my head when research money was short. This chapter is based on the book...

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