Reconceptualising transparency in journalism : Thinking through secrecy and PR press releases in news cultures

Cronin, Anne (2024) Reconceptualising transparency in journalism : Thinking through secrecy and PR press releases in news cultures. Journalism Studies. ISSN 1461-670X

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Abstract

This article re-examines debates about transparency in journalism by using a sociological framework that analyses how transparency is held in a dynamic tension with secrecy. I use a specific empirical case study as the grounding for my analysis and then proceed to expand its scope to consider significant developments in transparency in the media. I take as my case study the relationship between UK journalists and public relations (PR) practitioners. Specifically, I analyse the ways in which press releases are shaped by PR practitioners, targeted at journalists, and are taken up by journalists in a UK news media context in which such ‘information subsidies’ may be becoming ever more prevalent. Reframing transparency as one element in a compound phenomenon (the secrecy−transparency dynamic), I argue that practices of both transparency and secrecy are not merely situated within social contexts but are active in creating society and social relations. This approach pays close attention to how power operates in this shifting dynamic and offers new challenges for thinking about journalism’s role in society.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journalism Studies
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Research Output Funding/yes_externally_funded
Subjects:
?? journalismpublic relationstransparencysecrecyinformation subsidiespress releasesyes - externally fundedgeneral arts and humanitiesgeneral social sciencescommunication ??
ID Code:
221295
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
12 Jun 2024 15:05
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 01:18