Actes du Colloque international- (Université de Padoue, 6-7 décembre 2012)
Edited By Michele De Gioia
(University of Padova)
Mediation as agency in news reporting
Mediation is generally understood to be a process of alternative dispute resolution, or arbitration, which involves a neutral third party in order to negotiate an agreement between two parties in dispute with one another. According to the Oxford Dictionary, mediation can also be defined as:
agency or action as an intermediary; the state or fact of serving as an intermediate agent, a means of action, or a medium of transmission; instrumentality. […] The interposition of stages or processes between stimulus and result, or intention and realisation.
Given the varied interpretations of the term, in the context of this paper regarding media discourse, it seems necessary to redefine the expression, based on the notion of mediation as a « medium of transmission » and also encompassing the « the interposition of […] processes between stimulus and result ». Where mediation pertains to the media and communications there is rarely a “dispute”1, however the role of a « neutral third party » is key to news reporting. The news reporter or writer2 must remain impartial, objective and maintain a position which is over and above the news – in keeping with professional standards and codes of journalism.
With reference to the Oxford Dictionary definition above, the reporter can also be seen as an intermediate agent, or intermediary, who interposes between the stimulus (event or state of affairs) and the result (news story). ← 187 | 188 → Thus mediation...
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