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The Dynamics of Professional Identity Why journalists view journalists working with PR as a threat to journalism

Journal article
Authors Magnus Fredriksson
Bengt Johansson
Published in Journalism Practice
Volume 8
Issue 5
Pages 585-595
ISSN 1751-2786
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Pages 585-595
Language en
Subject categories Media and Communications


The aim of this article is to analyse how journalists' professional identity is related to their attitude towards PR. The focus is how—and to what extent—journalistic ideology, organizational belonging and the individual's social position influence journalists' perception that other journalists working with PR lower the trustworthiness of journalism. The analyses rest on data from the Swedish Journalist Survey 2011, which is a national representative survey of Swedish journalists. The results show that journalists in general embrace a hostile attitude towards journalists who start working as PR practitioners. However, those who have worked as a journalist for fewer years or have journalistic ideals promoting the amusement function of journalism, or have worked as a freelance, or been employed in an organization producing newsletters, as well as female journalists, weaken this posture. The article concludes with a discussion on how the results could be understood in relation to recent changes in journalism's power and prerequisites, and how a professional identity might function as a form of resistance.

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