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Journalism in Change

Journalistic Culture in Poland, Russia and Sweden


Edited By Gunnar Nygren and Bogusława Dobek-Ostrowska

Media developments change journalism all over the world. But are the changes the same in different media systems? How is professionalization influenced by the constant growth of a network society and social media? How are commercialization and political influences in the media relating to each other? These are some of the issues discussed in this study. It is based on the research project Journalism in Change – professional journalistic cultures in Poland, Russia and Sweden. From 2011 to 2014 researchers from Sweden, Poland and Russia at Södertörn University in Stockholm have been cooperating closely in order to survey a sample of 1500 journalists and 60 in depth interviews with journalists. The results are presented in a comparative design covering different areas.
It is an unusually tightly focused volume that sheds much light on the values, roles and working conditions of these journalists in a revealing comparative perspective. It is a model of well-conceptualized and carefully conducted comparative cross-national journalism research.
David H. Weaver, Bloomington, Indiana University, USA
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Professionalization, media development, and comparative journalism studies


Gunnar Nygren

The concept of ongoing professionalization has been a key area in journalism studies for many years (Zelizer, 2004; Schudson, 2003; Waisbord, 2013). Journalism has been described as gaining influence within the media system, mainly in relation to political power and state. With common standards and professional institutions, journalism has grown stronger in modern society. But is this still the case in an emerging interactive network society? Is the development the same in different media systems – is it possible to still have a process of professionalization in some parts of the world, and the reverse process in other parts of the world; a de-professionalization? Is professionalization the same in different media systems?

This theoretical introduction gives some background to these questions covered in the project “Journalism in Change”. It gives different perspectives from research in four areas:

1.1 The professional logic

Firstly, we need to make a distinction between the two closely related concepts: “professionalism” and “professionalization”. The word professional is often used to describe a skillful person, a person producing something of high quality. Professionalism is something that journalists embrace or pursue as a description of quality in their work (McQuail, 2010:286; Hanitzsch, 2009:416). These skills are something separating a professional from the amateur (the person who loves to do something, but still lacks the education and is doing so for fun).

The process of professionalization is something slightly different. Of course it has...

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