Ressourcen für die Kommunikations-, Medien- und Filmwissenschaft

Media releases and news: An analysis of how mainstream online media used Queensland Government communications

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veröffentlicht: Bond University, 2013
Medientyp: Artikel
Sprache: Englisch
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Details: “Media release journalism” is the practice of passing off a media release as news without conducting further journalistic work (Shin, Lee & Park, 2012). The practice is viewed broadly in the journalism industry as being undesirable and unethical, but previous studies have shown it to be surprisingly common. This paper shares the results of a study that tracked Queensland Governmentissued media releases and compared them with the resulting online news stories. It sought not to ascertain if a media release was picked up by the media, but how the information was integrated when the media used it as the basis for a news story. Where the angle provided in the release was not followed, the study applied a recognised set of news values, offering suggestions for the reason for the deviation. The study found that some journalists do not conduct journalistic inquiry into the information provided in a governmentprovided media release, and this may be framed as failing in their public duty to critique such information before dissemination. In almost a third of the stories analysed, journalists for mainstream online news outlets presented the words prepared by government media officers as news without notable change. The paper suggests further research is needed into the reasons why journalists who use media releases for story inspiration do not fulfil other public responsibilities of the profession in presenting the resulting news stories. It also suggests the thin stream of research into therelationships between government media officers and journalists would prove a fertile field for further academic inquiry.
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