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The Elites of the Media versus the Elites of Politics in Poland


Edited By Zbigniew Oniszczuk, Dagmara Głuszek-Szafraniec and Mirosława Wielopolska-Szymura

This book is the fruit of scientific research conducted using quantitative and qualitative methods regarding the mutual relations between the media elites and the political elites in Poland. The authors of this work focus on several virtuous aspects of this issue: on the characteristic model of opinion-forming journalism, also on the differences presented by female and male journalists in the assessment of the relations between politicians and journalists, as well as on the differences between local and national level of mass media in terms of external and internal autonomy of journalists, next on the importance of opinion-forming media in the process of creating a sense of political subjectivity in their recipients, and finally on the phenomenon of politicization of cultural issues in opinion-forming weeklies in Poland.

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4. Professional Autonomy of Local and National Journalists


Monika Kornacka-Grzonka

4.   Professional Autonomy of Local and National Journalists

Abstract The aim of this chapter is to answer the question concerning the degree of external and internal autonomy among local and national journalists. For this purpose, a questionnaire survey was conducted among representatives of both groups. The obtained data allow to claim there are no fundamental differences between the two studied groups in terms of external autonomy (freedom from influence exerted by various persons and external environments). In both cases, the sense of external autonomy is quite low and journalists have a sense of considerable interference by the political environment with the mass media. When internal autonomy is considered (freedom of choice of themes and their coverage as well as freedom of contact with individual political environments), there were significant discrepancies between the analyzed groups. Local journalists are subject to much greater constraint and pressure from the editorial office, which may be related to stronger relationship of the local media with various local entities, i.e., local authorities, churches, or businesses.

Keywords: Autonomy, local journalists, national journalists, politics, influence

4.1 Introduction

Journalistic autonomy perceived in the context of changing realities – political, technological, or social ones – is not a stable entity, but something that is continually negotiated in the daily practice of journalists. Since journalism is practiced in the context of an institution1, professional autonomy is negotiated within an institutional context. Media researchers emphasize it should be conceptualized as a right...

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