Numéro 15

Anthropology must embrace journalism

Public pedagogy is discipline’s challenge

Page 47
Brian McKenna

Both professional anthropology and professional journalism are in free fall. «End» is a keyword in both realms with the relentless corporate assault on investigative journalism and the deep concern for anthropology’s relevance in a privatized neoliberal world. Academic anthropology continues to worry about its future while imploring its members to get more urgently involved in public life and yet professional socialization in academic anthropology dramatically inhibits public journalistic action. The article posits that anthropologists must, in spite of this, become media makers and journalists themselves. This call is situated within four overarching movements which theorize important issues surrounding this border crossing praxis: the veteran field of applied anthropology, the sub-discipline of media anthropology, the emerging initiative of public (or engaged) anthropology, and the burgeoning field of public pedagogy. All explore, to different degrees, various problems and possibilities for doing journalism while offering important resources for critical practice.