Journalist and Pr Relationship

Topics: Public relations, Mass media, Newspaper Pages: 5 (1348 words) Published: March 26, 2013

The question for the essay is
“Journalism and Public Relations: Symbiosis or Parasitosis?”

Journalists and Public Relations (PR) practitioners interact with each other everyday as part of the process of news production. Journalists communicate towards public relations practitioners with requests for information or material to help produce the stories they are writing. While public relations practitioners advise stories and deliver journalists with information they have created themselves in hope to be published in the newspaper.

The relationship between journalists and public relations practitioners is, and has always been, complicated. The relationship between these two is one of mutually dependency if not symbiotic, but also ambivalent if not hostile. This ambiguous relationship has arisen due to the misconception of the outlook and the values of each profession. Shin and Cameron (2004) deem both parties bring conflict to the relationship through the nature of their roles and goals, and the values, attitudes and views they hold of each other (Callard, 2011). Journalist perception on public relations practitioners has a negative connotation to it, often troubled by the often about the levels of ‘information subsidy’ (Gandy, 1982) in the context of the way in which public relations material is able to shape the news by providing information that enables them to conform to there own agenda. Whereas public relations are concerned with the misunderstood perspective journalists have upon the role that public relations play. (Charron, 1989)

‘Journalists are said to strive for objectivity, fairness, accuracy, and balance, and do not withhold information, hide or advocate for particular agendas, or act unethically (Belz, Talbot, & Starck, 1989). Public relations is regarded as more subjective, serving the interests of the client first and foremost’ (White & Hobsbawm, 2007)

Although the tensions between the to industries may be strained, this is a relationship based on need n order for each other to succeed, whether each of them will admit it. 2.

Even though they may have differences, both professions have the similar objectives created around there public. The main intention of journalism profession is to provide it public with accurate, reliable trustworthy information to the general public. Public relations objective is to influence a certain target public, intended to influence the opinion of this audience to promote an individual or organisation that the firm is looking after.

The 'adversarial relationship' between the two professions is commonly viewed as journalists being the gatekeepers who serve the public through offering them 'a window to the world' (Singer, 1998) and public relations practitioners subsequent the ‘press-agentry’ model (Grunig and Hunt 1984) where the purpose of the practitioner is to expand publicity for their particular organisation through controlled 'information dissemination'. 

But in an ever-competing world the tables have begun to turn, with journalist not being as pure as they make out to be. Journalists have a responsibility to an unspoken ethical code to produce stories of truth and reliability, as journalists are the source between the public and it knowledge of news information. Foxification as well as the news of the world scandal has tampered the perception of trust worthy journalism. Foxification was the misrepresentations of facts to the public by the fox network for the purpose of perpetuation their prejudiced conservative agenda and profit gain. Which was the same found with the news of the world scandal early last year, where unethical conduct in order to gain profit. So the foundation of apprehensive that journalism has on public relations becomes unjustified.

The central elements to the functioning amongst journalist’s and public relations relationship is the subject of access to information. In an era where news is produced and consumed as...
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