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Original scientific paper

Journalists and Their Sources: Media Relations' Role in Managing News Access

Melita Poler Kovačić

Full text: croatian pdf 220 Kb

page 9-31

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We live in the increasingly promotional times: institutions as well as individuals
who strive for diverse interests and goals, for gaining and maintaining
public legitimacy, seek to communicate their messages through the journalistic
discourse. Studying media access is very important if we want to gain a better
understanding of the roles that the mass media play in the functioning of social
and cultural power. The social elites who serve as reliable sources have preferential
and active access (Van Dijk). Many research studies prove that journalists
more and more often and with no critical distance use their “information
subsidies”, provided by the public relations services that control and manage
the access to the corridors of power. The author of the article is interested in
the relations between the media relations practitioners and the journalists on
the theoretical level (self-perception and self-regulation) as well as in everyday
practice. Her thesis is that the increasing routinization of the journalistic work
which is deriving from the hard economic situation of the media organizations
in the circumstances of tough struggle for profits or even survival, promotes
publishing the information of elite official sources, prepared by their media relations officials. The sources of this information are often not transparent in
the journalistic texts, even though this practice is identified as an unethical in
the codes of both professions. The interweaving of public relations and journalism
has serious consequences for the realization of the classical mission of
journalism as a social activity for the common public welfare.


journalistic ethics, sources of information, public relations agencies, routinisation of journalism, social elites

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Article data in other languages: croatian

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