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Speech and Rhetorical Studies Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Mass Communication

University of Pennsylvania

1990

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"Covering The Body": The Kennedy Assassination And The Establishment Of Journalistic Authority, Barbie Zelizer Jan 1990

"Covering The Body": The Kennedy Assassination And The Establishment Of Journalistic Authority, Barbie Zelizer

Dissertations (ASC)

This study explores the narrative reconstruction by journalists of the story of John F. Kennedy's assassination. It examines how American journalists have turned their retellings of assassination coverage into stories about themselves, promoting themselves as the event's authorized spokespeople. At heart of their attempts to do so are issues of rhetorical legitimation, narrative adjustment and collective memory, all of which underscore how journalists establish themselves as an authoritative interpretive community.

The study is based on systematic examination of the narratives by which journalists have told the assassination story over the 27 years since Kennedy died. Narratives were taken ...