8 November 2013

‘Why newsrooms need anthropologists’

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Journalism and anthropology both purport to observe and analyse human behaviour and experience, albeit in different ways and over extremely divergent timescales. And they both serve up their findings to the wider world in order to give it greater understanding of itself – and of what it ‘means’ to be ‘human’.

Walé Azeez and Sarah Marshall, both journalists with anthropology backgrounds, argue that combining the two could make for more ‘holistic’ and context-rich news storytelling and challenge much of the received wisdom and orthodox commentary often taken at face value.

News anthropologists, they argue, will not only be able to bolster the research process into stories and world events, particularly for long-form features and investigative work, but also complement the use of analytics and help drill down into so-called big data.

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