Journalistrollens rivaler : Om public service-reportrars syn på sin roll i relation till användarskapat innehåll och medborgarjournalistik
Journalists´ role in society has traditionally been of representative nature with a task to distribute news and scrutinize those in power. But technological changes have created a new publishing world outside the traditional media institutions. In today’s redactional society anyone can become a publisher in a blog or through other channels on online. This process can be seen as contributing to increased democratization giving everyone the opportunity to publish. However for those used to having monopoly on distributing news and scrutinizing society these changes are forcing journalists to adapt to a new competitive environment.
There have been several previous studies of how this new digital milieu is affecting journalism from societal, organizational and news room perspectives. Little or no focus has been on how journalists themselves experience their changing professional status as a result of this new media world. Journalists employed by the public service broadcasters have got the most specified and explicitly expressed task with their responsibilities for contributing to a democratic society and an active citizenship, as stipulated by the government. How do these journalists deal with citizens now challenging the journalists´ previous well-guarded access to publishing?
This essay examines the affect of these changes on journalists within two public service organizations in Sweden, asking journalists to reflect on the impact on their professional roles. The study is based on ten interviews with regional journalists employed by the Swedish public service radio and television corporations: Sveriges Radio and Sveriges Television. The analyze is based on theories on public service, professionalism and boundary maintenance.
Boundary maintenance mechanisms can be clearly observed among the journalists in an attempt to keep their journalistic authority and the arguments used refer to the “other´s” lack of credibility, accountability and impartiality. A similar role hierarchy can also be identified within the occupational group, where some characteristics and qualities are considered to contribute to a more “genuine” journalism than other. Nevertheless, a journalistic “us” always appears when boundaries are marked against what is looked on as non-journalism, for example user generated content and grass root journalism.
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