An oral history of the 1979 strike at the St. John's Evening Telegram

Burns, Mary Elizabeth Jane (1982) An oral history of the 1979 strike at the St. John's Evening Telegram. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This study presents an oral history of the 1979 strike by reporters against the St. John's Evening Telegram as they recounted it to me in private interviews. The oral historical method was combined with an approach derived from occupational folklore to allow the discovery not only of the strikers' interpretation of the historical event but to produce a more complete understanding of the ideals of the occupational group itself. -- While describing the strike, reporters revealed the exoteric attitudes they held towards newspaper owners as well as the esoteric beliefs they held towards their own jobs. The confrontation situation acted as a catalyst for the emergence of concerns that were always present but which might not normally have been expressed. -- In addition to analysis of narratives concerning the strike experience, and of the rhetorical use of anecdote, several behavioural theories have been employed. In interpreting the picket line behaviour as ritual action, an attempt is made to show why the line held such an emotional place in some of the reporters' accounts. Furthermore, in viewing the bar behaviour as "play," the importance is suggested of activities outside the workaday which provide a sense of cohesion to the occupational group. -- An oral history of a strike allows the folklorist special insight into the concerns of the occupational group involved. Not only does it allow for the study of how actual experiences were narrated and interpreted by those involved, it also allows for the study of the values of the profession as they are more intensively articulated during the strike itself.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7594
Item ID: 7594
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 142-153.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 1982
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--St. John's
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Evening Telegram (St. John's, N.L.); Strikes and lockouts--Newspapers--Newfoundland and Labrador; St. John's (N.L.)--Evening Telegram strike, 1979

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