Research degrees in journalism: What is an exegesis?

  • Chris Nash
Keywords: exegesis, investigative journalism, journalism, journalism history, literature review, reflexivity, research, research journalism, research methodologies, theses,


This article addresses the question of what might constitute an exegesis for a higher degree by research in journalism, and briefly canvasses issues for journalism as a disciplinary research practice. It starts by considering the craft/profession/discipline dichotomies to clarify the sort of journalism that might qualify as research, typically but not necessarily long form and/or investigative. It identifies the three core elements of the exegesis as a literature review, an exposition of the methodology and an evaluation of the success of the journalism component of the project in answering the research question. It notes that all journalism, like history and other humanities disciplines, is necessarily interdisciplinary, and therefore the journalistic methodology should interface with that of the cognate discipline. It argues that the singularity and value of journalism as a research practice lie in its combination of a reflexive empirical focus, a focus on contemporary phenomena and an intense engagement with the politics of knowledge. It suggests that meta-theoretical debates about reflexivity, space, time and fields are strongly applicable to methodological debates in journalism.


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How to Cite
Nash, C. (2014). Research degrees in journalism: What is an exegesis?. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 20(1), 76-98.