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In an examination of the contemporary transformation of journalism at a granular level, this article exposes the process at work in the cultural construction of crisis and struggles for institutional experimentation in the New Orleans based The Times-Picayune. Layoffs and a digital-first strategy in 2012 triggered public outcry that strongly polluted the changes as anti-democratic. A narrative analysis of articles published in a variety of media and in-depth interviews with journalists and editors showed that events were related to broad and systemic cultural values, a core cultural structure inherent in every journalistic institution—including The Times-Picayune. In their narrative dimension, journalistic stories took the form of a moral texture that, in turn, fostered civil interpretations and reactions. The available narratives of the changes were—and still are—filtered, selected, and outlined from those core values.
Journalism United States Crisis in journalism The Times-Picayune Civil values Cultural sociology