Journalists Adjusting to Controlled Media - A Grounded Theory
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The Theory of Journalists Adjusting to Controlled Media is a grounded theory that arose from the qualitative research of data collected in Serbia. It focuses on how journalists resolve the lack of opportunities to practice accountable journalism in traditional mainstream media nowadays. The theory of adjusting has been derived in accordance with the classic grounded theory methodology, described in the original literature written by its founders, Barney G. Glaser and Anselm L. Strauss. Officially, as a former communist, authoritarian and post-conflict country with a complex and long lasting transition towards an absolute reign of democracy, Serbia is a fertile ground for observing a multitude of social phenomena. In this particular case, the non-existent independent competitive media market causes the inability of the media to remain economically sustainable. As the government and state power demonstrate unwillingness to withdraw from the media environment, Serbian media register the increase of censorship. Objective journalism is neglected in such circumstances. Consequently, journalists create strategies to adapt to a new business environment. The lack of space for exercising and publishing accountable journalistic content appeared as the main concern of the Serbian journalists interviewed during this research. It emerged from the data that journalists resolve their main concerns by adjusting to controlled media in three ways: by staying and enduring the new media environment, by shifting from journalism to another workplace within the branch, or by absolutely leaving the media. The Theory of Journalists Adjusting to Controlled Media demystifies how journalists handle the presence of censorship among the newsrooms, and the increase of pressures to satisfy the needs of media financiers. It helps in overcoming professional dilemmas by offering possible solutions.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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