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This paper feeds into public and academic discourses about declining quality standards in print journalism, in particular the claim that newsroom pressure for increased productivity invariably yields low quality journalism or churnalism, the churning of ready-made source materials into news articles. Drawing on ethnographic data collected at the business newsdesk of De Standaard, a Flemish quality newspaper, I illustrate how business journalists actually write news from corporate and agency sources by tracking the news production process from story entry to (pre-final) publication.
My data provide detailed empirical evidence for the discursive intricacies of reproductive newswriting, i.e. writing from sources. Specifically, my data highlight how churnalism
(i) forces attention to the materiality, creativity and domain knowledge of journalists;
(ii) prompts news frames which enable journalists to write fast and efficiently;
(iii) is a journalistic genre in its own right.
Taken together, these findings contribute to a more empirically grounded discussion of sourcing practices in a globalized journalism.