The ethics and challenges of being a journalist in different media systems


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Paolo Mancini
(Università di Perugia)

CMPF Summer School 2013 for Journalists and Media Practitioners

Published in: News & Politics, Education
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The ethics and challenges of being a journalist in different media systems

  1. 1. The ethics and challenges of being a journalist in different media systems Paolo Mancini (Università di Perugia)
  2. 2. Two main assumptions Journalism does not grow up in a vacuum Against a universal view of what journalism can be
  3. 3. “A tiny handful of countries” (Curran – Park, 2000)
  4. 4. “media in new democracies, and semi-authoritarian nations of Pacific Asia are commonly characterized by intense partisanship, persistent state interference, ambiguous models of ownership and questionable profitability” (McCargo, 2012) “the primary mission of Arab journalism, is that of fostering political and social change in Arab world with a secondary role of defending the Arab/Muslim people and values against outside interference” (Pintak – Ginges, 2008) “business parallelism in CEE countries: There exist a close set of relations between politicians, businessmen and the media that leads to a routine interchange between different groups in post-communist countries ” (Sparks, 2000)
  5. 5. The visibility of liberal journalism in pubic discourse contrasted with the realities of press systems. Its prospects ran against conditions that differed glaringly from original contexts coupled with questionable commitment of press barons. It was improbable that a liberal press would develop in antiliberal capitalist societies, considering that owners rethorically exalted liberalism but ceaselessly courted states, supported military interventions an only (and vociferously) criticized government intrusion that affected their own political and economic interests” (Waisbord, 2000) “In societies based on particularism rather than free competition, however, media outlets are not ordinary business ventures. Rather, investors, use their channels for blackmail or for trading influence” (Mungiu Pippidi, 2010)
  6. 6. Responding to a culture of overpoliticization and partisanship, most of the region’s media outlets allow demagoguery, biases, self interests and even hate to undermine the mission of information, gathering, reporting and dissemination of various points of view (Gross, 2003) “The new generation of journalists is oriented to the role of entertainer, aiming at a sensationalist media agenda. They perceive journalism as a type of PR, working for the interests of influential groups and persons in politics and business” (Pasti, 2005) Hallin – Mancini three models in Western World: 1) liberal or North Atlantic model; 2) democratic- corporatist or Central Northern Europe model; 3) polarized – pluralist or Mediterranean model
  7. 7. Which dimensions may affect the different ways of “being a journalist” • The structure of the media market (national vs local; profitable outlets vs not profitable outlets) • The role of the state (welfare state vs liberal oriented state; strong vs weak state; consolitated vs transitional democracies) • Strong vs weak intermediary organizations (political parties, religious/ethnical affiliations) • Rational – legal authority
  8. 8. Different types of public sphere • Internal pluralism (the liberal model of neutrality, inclusiveness, etc.) • External pluralism (partisan outlets as in large part of the history of Western Europe) • Shifting external pluralism (plurality of temporary interferences)
  9. 9. What with the new media Abundance Blurred professional identity Polarization