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Czech Journalists' Refreshed Sense of Ethics in the Midst of Media Ownership Turmoil

[journal article]

Hájek, Roman; Štefaniková, Sandra; Láb, Filip; Tejkalová, Alice N.

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/mac.v3i4.348

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Abstract In recent years, the Czech Republic has seen the largest changes in media ownership since the early 1990s. Most striking was the purchase of one of the largest publishing houses Mafra by the tycoon Andrej Babiš in June 2013, followed by the takeover of the Czech branch of Ringier by other Czech businessmen later that year. The first case in particular instigated immense discussion about the economic and ethical crisis facing Czech journalism since Babiš is also a powerful political figure (currently the Minister of Finance). In response, a significant number of leading, well-known journalists left media owned by big business and launched projects of quality or "slow" journalism which had until that point been merely discussed theoretically. This paper - based on the results of the Czech part of the Worlds of Journalism Study project - addresses the shift in the ways journalists perceive their roles and ethical responsibilities before and after the 2013 ownership changes. We also present the manner in which these changes are reflected in emerging media projects. It seems that those journalists not affected by the ownership change tend to view journalism ethics and the ability of journalism to exert power more seriously than before. (author's abstract)
Keywords Czech Republic; media industry; private broadcasting; mass media; press; press concentration; media concentration; political influence; journalism; career in journalism; profession; self-employment; journalist; professional ethics; ethics of responsibility; post-socialist country
Classification Media Economics, Media Technology; Communicator Research, Journalism; Economic Sectors
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 52-61
Journal Media and Communication, 3 (2015) 4
Issue topic Turbulences of the Central and Eastern European Media
ISSN 2183-2439
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution