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Professional logics in journalism and the role of social media audiences

Patricia Cruz

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The article “Business as Usual: How Journalism’s Professional Logics Continue to Shape News Organization Policies Around Social Media Audiences” by Kelly Fincham from National University of Galway, Ireland used an institutional logics approach to understand the relationship between the audience’s role and the professional logics dominating the newsrooms. 

Institutional logics refers to a set of conflicting and overlapping beliefs and practices within modern Western institutions to explain how individuals fit in within the organizations and society and the interplay between aforementioned. In journalism, there are four types of logics: professional, commercial, managerial and technological. 

Professional logics in journalism situates the journalist as an objective gatekeeper tasked with maintaining control over the content of news. The role of the journalist is that of an objective observer, an activist, an interpreter or a watchdog. 

The central question in this study is whether professional logics inform the social media audience engagement or if newer logics are present there. Hence the research question is “Are professional logics most prominent within news organizations in relation to the social media news audience or can we identify the emergence of newer logics?”.

The data for the study comes from the publicly available social media guidelines from national news organizations in four countries: US, UK, Canada, and Ireland. The criteria for selection of guidelines following the enquiries was that they must be publicly available to ensure replicability. 

All the guidelines begin with a statement that encourages journalists to use social media in a manner that furthers journalism’s professional role. They do then situate the audience as passive recipients of information and journalists as disseminators. 

Further on, the audience is typically described in terms such as “those who consume our content”, or “readers, listeners and viewers”. The audience members who take a more active role in sharing content are described as “helping us do our jobs”. 

Interactions with the audience are only encouraged in the context of gathering or creating news such as by finding witnesses to a news story, and journalists are positioned as experts in also influencing the social media. 

The audience is also described as a potential new community, and the guidelines stress a sort of “when in Rome, do as the Romans…” ethos. Journalists engaging the social media are encouraged to think of themselves as guests.

In addition, the audience is also sometimes described as a potential threat. Journalists are consistently identified as targets of attacks, even though it is acknowledged that most feedback is constructive. Social media itself is viewed as threatening, as a place where people’s dark sides emerge and bigotries are arife. 

The guidelines for dealing with unpleasant and threatening behavior stress the difference between unpleasant and truly abusive behavior, and journalists are encouraged to only use measures such as blocking in the case of the latter. 

All the conceptions of audience, as a traditional construct, as a new community, and as a potential threat, reaffirm the institutional logics of journalism and the professional logics within it. 

Journalists are not encouraged to invite the audience to the news-creation process, nor are there recommendations on how to best form relationships or engage in dialogue. 

In conclusion, the author notes that professional logics still play an important role in the newsrooms and reinforce the notion of journalists as the people in charge. Newer conceptions and the concept of audience awareness are largely unknown, and news organizations tend to copy each other in their conceptions.

The study  “Business as Usual: How Journalism’s Professional Logics Continue to Shape News Organization Policies Around Social Media Audiences” by Kelly Fincham is in Journalism Practice. (Open access).

Picture: Woman’s hand writing the word “audience” on a whiteboard, with arrows. By Melanie Deziel @storyfuel.

License Unsplash. 

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Journalism

The Top Journalism Websites for News and Analysis”

Alice Trout

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Journalism plays an essential role in keeping the public informed about current events and issues. The internet has made it easier than ever to access a wide range of news and analysis from reputable sources. Here are some of the best journalism sites for keeping up-to-date on the latest happenings around the world:

  1. The New York Times (www.nytimes.com) – The New York Times is a well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture.
  2. The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) – The Washington Post is another well-respected newspaper that has been in operation for over 150 years. It offers in-depth coverage of national and international news, as well as commentary on politics, business, and more.
  3. The Guardian (www.theguardian.com) – The Guardian is a British newspaper that offers a wide range of news and analysis on politics, business, technology, and culture. It has a strong reputation for investigative journalism and has won numerous awards.
  4. BBC News (www.bbc.com/news) – BBC News is the online news division of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). It offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events.
  5. Al Jazeera (www.aljazeera.com) – Al Jazeera is a Qatari news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of the Middle East and North Africa.
  6. Reuters (www.reuters.com) – Reuters is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of business and financial news.
  7. CNN (www.cnn.com) – CNN is a global news organization that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of breaking news and live events.
  8. The Economist (www.economist.com) – The Economist is a British magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on economics and politics.
  9. The Atlantic (www.theatlantic.com) – The Atlantic is an American magazine that offers a wide range of news and analysis on international, national, and regional events, with a focus on politics, culture, and technology.
  10. ProPublica (www.propublica.org) – ProPublica is a non-profit organization that focuses on investigative journalism. It has a strong reputation for its coverage of politics, business, and social issues.

Guest blogging is a highly effective marketing strategy that every business should be utilizing. By purchasing PR publications, you can increase traffic and establish authority.

These are just a few examples of the many great journalism websites that are available. Whether you’re looking for breaking news, in-depth analysis, or a particular perspective on current events, these sites are an excellent starting point.

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Journalism

The Ethics of Healthcare Advertising: Balancing the Right to Information with the Risk of Deception

Alice Trout

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Healthcare advertising has the potential to inform and educate the public about important medical treatments and products, but it must be done in an ethical and responsible manner. On one hand, the public has the right to access information about healthcare options that may improve their quality of life or save their lives. On the other hand, there is a risk that healthcare advertising could deceive or mislead consumers, leading to negative consequences for both the companies and the public.

One issue with healthcare advertising is the promotion of prescription drugs for off-label use. Off-label use refers to the use of a drug for a purpose that has not been approved by the regulatory agency, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. While it is not illegal for doctors to prescribe drugs for off-label use, it is illegal for pharmaceutical companies to promote drugs for off-label use. This is because the FDA has not determined that the drug is safe and effective for the unapproved use.

Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical companies have been known to engage in off-label promotion in order to increase sales. This can be harmful to patients, as they may be prescribed a drug that has not been thoroughly tested for the specific condition they are suffering from. In some cases, off-label use of a drug can even be dangerous.

Another issue with healthcare advertising is the use of exaggerated or misleading claims. This can include making false or unproven statements about the effectiveness of a drug or treatment, or downplaying the risks and side effects. Such practices can lead to consumers making informed decisions about their healthcare, and can also harm the reputation of the healthcare industry as a whole.

In order to strike a balance between the right to information and the risk of deception, it is important for both regulatory agencies and the healthcare industry to prioritize ethical practices in healthcare advertising. This can include measures such as strict oversight by regulatory agencies, clear guidelines for the approval and review of advertising materials, and campaigns to educate the public about how to evaluate and interpret healthcare advertising. By taking these steps, we can ensure that the public has access to accurate and reliable information about healthcare options, while also protecting against deceptive practices that can harm both consumers and the healthcare industry.

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Journalism

Supporting Startup Founders’ Mental Health: The Importance of Prioritizing Well-Being in the Fast-Paced Startup World

Alice Trout

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As the startup world continues to thrive and grow, it’s important to recognize that the fast-paced, high-stress environment can take a toll on the mental health of founders and employees. In fact, research has shown that entrepreneurs are at a higher risk for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression compared to the general population.

One key factor that contributes to this risk is the pressure to succeed and the fear of failure that can come with starting and running a business. Additionally, the long hours and lack of work-life balance that are often associated with the startup world can also contribute to mental health challenges.

It’s essential that startups prioritize the mental health of their founders and employees, not only for the well-being of the individual, but also for the overall success of the business. Research has shown that mental health issues can negatively impact productivity and decision-making, which can have serious consequences for a company.

There are a few steps that startups can take to support the mental health of their team members:

  1. Encourage open communication and create a safe space for employees to talk about their mental health concerns.
  2. Offer resources such as counseling and mental health benefits to employees.
  3. Foster a culture of self-care by promoting healthy habits such as regular exercise and proper nutrition.
  4. Set boundaries and encourage work-life balance to prevent burnout.

For those not ready to go to the doctor or looking for support, mental health startups Europe offer help through apps.

It’s important to remember that mental health is just as important as physical health, and it’s crucial that startups prioritize the well-being of their founders and employees. By taking steps to support the mental health of their team, startups can create a positive and healthy work environment that leads to success for both the business and its employees.

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