ARTICLE: Journalists disagree on their loyalties

Journalists can be divided into five distinguishable groups according to whom they feel most accountable to, writes Halliki Harro-Loit, of University of Tartu. The results come from a large scale, cross-national survey in a total of 14 countries in Europe, Middle East and North Africa. While most journalists claim adherence to journalistic norms, others pay respect to political and religious authorities.

The author names the groups as being oriented to power, professional community, standards, “everyone” and religion. According to Harro-Loit, the accountable-to-everyone group is especially interesting. Its existence gives rise to a concern over how these journalists would react when a conflict of interest appears. The size of this undecided group is “remarkable”, the author states.

These results were published in an online-first article of the Journal of Media Ethics. The article can be accessed online here (abstract public).

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