Pack journalism

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Pack journalism is the characterization of news reporting in which reporters from different news outlets collaborate to cover the same story, leaving news reporting homogenous. The term was first coined by Timothy Crouse.[1]

Pack journalism occurs because the reporters often rely on one another for news tips or are all similarly dependent on a single source for access (which is often the very person they are covering). A type of groupthink occurs, as the journalists are constantly aware of what the others are reporting and an informal consensus emerges on what is newsworthy.

Entire news organizations may engage in pack journalism practices. For example, pack journalism can occur when a news organization decides to make a particular story the lead story only because other news organizations are doing so.

The media coverage of the 1972 presidential election campaigns is the most famous example. The coverage of the campaigns was deplored in depth by both Timothy Crouse in his 1973 book The Boys on the Bus, and by Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.