pack journalism

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Republican Party primary candidate Fred Thompson (right, in the blue shirt) speaking to reporters travelling on his bus during his 2008 United States presidential campaign. The term pack journalism was coined by Timothy Crouse who had observed the behaviour of such reporters during the 1972 US presidential election.

Coined by the American journalist and writer Timothy Crouse (born 1947) in his book The Boys on the Bus (1973) about the activities of journalists during the 1972 United States presidential election: see the quotation.



pack journalism (uncountable)

  1. (journalism) A tendency of reporting to become homogeneous due to the reporters' habit of relying on one another for news tips, or being dependent on a single source for information. [from c. 1973]
    • 1973, Timothy Crouse, The Boys on the Bus[1], New York, N.Y.: Random House, →ISBN; republished New York, N.Y.: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2003, →ISBN:
      The press likes to demonstrate its power by destroying lightweights, and pack journalism is never more doughty and complacent than when the pack has tacitly agreed that a candidate is a joke. As soon as a candidate shows his vulnerability by getting flustered, or by arguing when he shouldn't argue, the pack is delighted to treat him as the class clown.

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