Journal of Scientific Papers

ECONOMICS & SOCIOLOGY


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ISSN 2071-789X



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Business influence on media news processing: a comparison of journalists’ perceptions in the Czech Republic and South Africa

Vol. 8, No 1, 2015

Arnold S de Beer,

Stellenbosch University South Africa

E-mail: asdebeer@sun.ac.za

BUSINESS INFLUENCE ON MEDIA NEWS PROCESSING: A COMPARISON OF JOURNALISTS’ PERCEPTIONS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND SOUTH AFRICA

Filip Láb,

Charles University in Prague Czech Republic

E-mail: filip.lab@fsv.cuni.cz

Wadim Strielkowski,

 

Charles University in Prague Czech Republic

E-mail: strielkowski@fsv.cuni.cz

 

Alice N. Tejkalová Charles University in Prague Czech Republic

E-mail: alice.tejkalova@fsv.cuni.cz

 

ABSTRACT. . How do journalists in two formerly authoritarian countries, the Czech Republic and South Africa, perceive the potential of media owners and other business people to influence their work? Multinomial ordinal regression analy- sis was applied to data collected in the Czech Republic and South Africa for the present 50 country-wide Worlds of Journalism (WoJ) Project. A total of 291 journalists in the Czech Republic and 371 journalists in South Africa were interviewed according to the WoJ protocol. Three aspects of media freedom, as perceived by the respondents, a r e dis- cussed, namely the freedom journalists have to select news stories; to emphasize certain news aspects; and to participate in editorial discussion and decision making (news coordina- tion). The results suggest that media owners as well as busi- ness people curb, but also support, journalists’ freedom in dealing with the news. In the Czech Republic, a country in the global North and a former member of the Soviet bloc, the results show the influence of media owners and business owners supports the freedom of journalists in selecting their own stories. More influence of business people is associat- ed with more freedom of journalists in aspects emphasized in the stories and in the frequency the journalists partici- pate in newsroom coordination. In South Africa, a former white minority-ruled country in the global South, the re- sults suggest that the influence of media owners seems to lessen journalists’ freedom to select news and to emphasize certain news aspects, and coordination. Moreover, the per- ceived level of influence of business people in South Africa did not statistically significantly relate to all three aspects of journalists’ freedom.

 

Received: January, 2015

1st Revision: April, 2015 Accepted: May, 2015

 

DOI:10.14254/2071- 789X.2015/8-1/17

JEL Classification: L82, M20, P12, P26

Keywords: media economics, business ownership, freedom of press, Czech Republic, South Africa, news selection