Strengthening Journalism from the Margins: Engaged Journalism in Brazil and Egypt
Medeiros, Débora; Badr, Hanan – 2022
This article develops the concept of engaged journalism outside a US context, comparing how engaged journalists in Brazil and Egypt discursively negotiate their professional positions in the face of far-right governments? constraints. Engaged journalists are professional journalists working in alternative media and strongly committed to a political position. Inspired by Bourdieu?s field theory, the article investigates how engaged journalists legitimise themselves by contesting legacy journalism from the margins through innovative digital formats in times of blurred boundaries. A qualitative content analysis of 21 articles (editorials and op-ed pieces) published in The Intercept Brasil and MadaMasr from 2015 to 2020 (a) develops the concept of engaged journalism in alternative media, (b) reconstructs how two media initiatives in the Global South discursively negotiated editorial actions and distinguished themselves from legacy journalism, and (c) proposes a global transferable understanding of engaged journalism based on research in two media systems. Three themes emerge: raison d?être and purpose, tensions between democratic and authoritarian norms, and the establishment of legitimacy through an emphasis on journalistic practices, revealing that engaged journalists are driven by media criticism, but still position themselves within journalism, offering a radical new path. This article contributes to theory-building about engaged journalism in the Global South.