Show Less
Restricted access

Journalism and PR

Unpacking ‘Spin’, Stereotypes, and Media Myths

Jim Macnamara

The interrelationship between journalism and public relations (PR) is one of the most contentious in the field of media studies. Numerous studies have shown that 50–80 per cent of the content of mass media is significantly shaped by PR. But many editors, journalists, and PR practitioners engage in a ‘discourse of denial’, maintaining what critics call the dirty secret of journalism – and PR. Media practitioners also engage in an accusatory ‘discourse of spin’ and a ‘discourse of victimhood’. On the other hand, PR practitioners say they help provide a voice for organizations, including those ignored by the media. Meanwhile, the growth of social media is providing new opportunities for governments, corporations, and organizations to create content and even their own media, increasing the channels and reach of PR.
This book reviews 100 years of research into the interrelationship between journalism and PR and, based on in-depth interviews with senior editors, journalists, and PR practitioners in several countries, presents new insights into the methods and extent of PR influence, its implications, and the need for transparency and change, making it a must-read for researchers and students in media studies, journalism, public relations, politics, sociology, and cultural studies.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Chapter One: The Contentious Relationship between Journalism and PR



“The fingerprints of PR are all over the news” (journalist Miriam Cosic, 2008, para. 7).

“It’s the invisible hand behind much of the news, the sophisticated spin machine that can rescue reputations or crucify a competitor. And some of its practitioners will stop at nothing” (journalist Jane Cadzow, 2001, p. 20, in a major feature article titled ‘The Hidden Persuaders’).

“The PR industry…consciously fabricates news” (Nick Davies, 2009, p. 203, in Flat Earth News).

“PR fabricates pseudo-evidence…pseudo-events…pseudo-leaks…pseudo-pictures…pseudo-illnesses…pseudo-groups” (Nick Davies, 2009, pp. 172–193).

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.