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Journalism that Matters

Views from Central and Eastern Europe


Edited By Michał Głowacki, Epp Lauk and Auksė Balčytienė

This collective effort of Central and Eastern European (CEE) scholars investigates and compares journalism cultures in a selection of CEE countries. Simultaneously with dramatic societal and political changes, CEE journalisms undergo a technological revolution and the global repercussions of the economic crisis. According to the authors of this volume, the national cultural factors and traditions play an important role in professionalization and democratization of journalism cultures. The book critically examines some of the identified developments, such as shifting roles and functions of the media and journalists or interpretations of occupational self-regulation as genuine phenomena of CEE journalisms rather than deviations from the Western professional ideology of journalism.
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CHAPTER 5: Professional roles, context factors and responsibility across generations of Polish journalists: Agnieszka Stępińska and Michał Głowacki


Agnieszka Stępińska

Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland

Michał Głowacki

University of Warsaw, Poland

ABSTRACT: This paper aims at investigating and comparing perception of professional roles, context factors and responsibility across different generations of contemporary Polish journalists – the youngest media professionals (20-30 years old), journalists from the age group of 31-50 years old who entered the profession in the time of social and political transformation, as well as the oldest representatives of the profession, who have been working for the media organizations for several decades now. Bearing in mind different paths of experience in social, economical and political change, this study explores the attitude of three age groups toward professional roles, contextual factors for the development of journalism as well as perception of journalistic responsibility. With a reference to two empirical international research projects namely “Global Journalist in the 21st Century” (1996-2011) and “Media Accountability and Transparency in Europe (MediaAcT)” (2010-2013), which were based on questionnaires addressed to representatives of the profession, the following questions are being raised: How do Polish media professionals define their roles and obligations? What are the context factors responsible for the development of journalism? To whom do media professionals in Poland feel responsible? What are the similarities and differences between different age groups/journalistic generations and how they might be explained?

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