Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Journalists have problems matching practice with ideals

03.11.2009
Fierce competition forces journalists to deliver attention-grabbing news and articles. But this increased focus on the audience sometimes clashes with journalistic ideals, according to a study at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

The ambition to please the audience requires that the journalist knows what the audience wants.

'Journalists generally feel it is important to respond to what the audience wants, but at the same time they often don't really know what this is,' says Ulrika Andersson, doctoral student at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Gothenburg and author of the thesis 'Journalister och deras publik. Förhållningssätt bland svenska journalister'.

Discussions on the role of mass media in society usually depart from the Anglo-Saxon norm that they serve an important function in democratic societies and that journalists work on behalf of the citizens. This means that journalists should produce material that is relevant to ordinary people. Yet the journalist's task is also strongly influenced by the notion of independence and by the idea that journalists, as professional actors, should determine what people need to be able to exercise good citizenship.

'The journalistic task is double-natured to some degree, and this affects how journalists approach their audience,' Andersson continues.

This duality becomes very clear when looking at how journalists feel mass media should approach the audience. Most journalists stress the importance of responding to the needs of the audience. But at the same time they claim that journalists must provide material that is important according to journalistic standards. It also turns out to be easier said than done to respond to the needs of the audience: journalists tend to not think highly of their ability to identify topics that people are interested in.

Rapid changes
The study shows that female journalists - especially young ones - are more prone to consider the audience, while male journalists - older ones in particular - tend to base their work more on traditional ideals. The results indicate that the view of the journalist's role and the way journalists approach the audience are affected by the rapid changes experienced in the field over the last 10-15 years. This suggests that the way journalists approach the audience will change even further as new generations enter the profession.

'But it is important to remember that this issue concerns primarily attitudes and not actual behaviour,' says Andersson. Previous studies have shown that ideals and practice often differ. This is evident not least when looking at what journalists really know about the audience.

'Journalists tend to overestimate people's interest in entertainment-related material and underestimate their interest in news'.

In her study, Anderson discusses how this shortcoming may affect the journalistic task of effectively representing the public at large.

The thesis is based on the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication's survey Journalist 2005, which involves 2000 members of the Swedish Union of Journalists.

The thesis was successfully defended on October 30.

Title of the thesis: Journalister och deras publik. Förhållningssätt bland svenska journalister
Author: Ulrika Andersson, telephone +46 (0)739 936232 (cell), +46 (0)31 786 4974 (work)
E-mail: ulrika.andersson@jmg.gu.se
Link to thesis: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/21072
BY: Lena Olson
lena.olson@samfak.gu.se
+46 31-786 4841

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/21072

Further reports about: Ancient Mass Extinction Journalism mass media

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>