Summary of information and attitude as products of journalism and pr

Summary. The authors discuss the demarcations between what is considered journalism and what is considered public relations. However, the authors use the professional societies of each to describe, define, and delineate between what constitutes the key elements of each profession.  While acknowledging the professional job descriptions of each, the authors also acknowledge that the development of information and communication technologies as well as social development processes has blurred the lines between the two where now a journalist may contribute to the promotion of some goods or services. (p. 218). While I understand this is a summary of a study, I disagree with the generous assessment of the authors regarding the long-standing “impartiality” of journalists who retain biases from what they are assigned and from what they write and ask.

Problems. The authors admit that both journalists and PR specialists are increasingly blurring the lines of demarcation between the two professions due to the proliferation of information on the Internet that is freely used by both. The authors make a distinction between PR, advertising, and propaganda (the former subcategories of propaganda), admitting that the PR specialist uses these and the journalist frequently uses the press releases wholesale as “stories” from the PR specialist.  Additionally, the authors cite the acceptable practice of negative coverage of a featured advertiser as a story subject until their advertising budget is paid to the media outlet.  This, according to the authors and the ethics of the two groups societies, is acceptable.  The authors are not interested in eliminating the demarcation problem, but they point out further trends for discussion.

Questions/Observations.  The authors searched for differences between advertising and PR specialists and journalists, searching for the features that separate one professional organization from the other.  They reviewed the “organization culture” in conception of object and product of work, conception of place of the group within social structure, conception of values and targets, conception of tasks that correspond to definitions of “values and targets,” conception of past and future of the group, and conception of socially approved and disapproved behaviour. (p. 222).

The authors delineate information as the primary task of journalists.  While the authors admit this and several points related to reality, to documentary explication, and to connection between the audience and to the journalist.  The authors also explain the contradiction in this intent of objectivity is the force of intentional and unintentional influence journalists have on society which is where they determine is the confusion separating the intentions and results of journalism from public relations. (p. 225).

Conclusions. The authors conclude with results in the form of a table showing the matters of importance of a PR specialist versus a journalist indicating the commonalities between the two.  The only commonality indicated is the participation in social management without acknowledging the inherent bias of the individual journalist or the journalist that repeats passages of (or) whole press releases as fact.  The questions of influence and bias that are raised in the article are subjects for further research and study.

 

Source:

Zorin, K. A., & Зорин, К. А. (2013). INFORMATION AND ATTITUDE AS PRODUCTS OF JOURNALISM AND PR ИНФОРМАЦИЯ И ОТНОШЕНИЕ КАК ПРОДУКТЫ ТРУДА ЖУРНАЛИСТИКИ И PR. World of Media, 217.

 

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