Journalistic Culture and Journalism

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Communication Strategies ・APA ・11 Sources

Journalism is the method of assembling, generating and presenting data. In every community, people have an substantial thirst for breaking news. The thirst is quenched by journalism through the writing of magazines, periodicals, and tv news stories. The humans who satisfy this desire are journalists. Therefore, the position of a journalist is to report news and events. Notably, journalism and the verbal exchange process go hand in hand. Communication can be verbal, non-verbal or written. Communication studies as an educational discipline deal with the process of conversation. Therefore, there is a symbiotic relationship between journalism and communication because each methods involve conveying data to an audience. In other words, both concepts aim at completing the task of exchange of information with an audience. The paper will create an outline of journalism and journalistic culture. Also, it will examine different communication studies perspective.

Journalistic Culture

Over the years, journalism has developed, and the gradual change has helped to improve the image of reporters. In other words, time has ascertained that only professional journalists can participate in journalism. The fact that only professional journalists can indulge in journalism has developed a unique culture associated with reporting (Borden, 2013). The culture has expectations and standards that journalists should meet and observe. Also, empirical research has dug into the concept of journalism and journalistic culture. Researchers have found that one of the things that make media reporting unique from other forms of communication is the culture that has norms and values for journalists (Borden, 2013). The culture is also referred to as the code of conduct of journalism. Journalists are not lone rangers, therefore, they are unified by a common culture that determines how information is created and distributed (Brown, 2011).

The first concept of the larger culture of journalism is objectivity (Kristensen, 2017). This concept revolves around reporting things the way they are. In other words, journalists are supposed to collect and distribute accurate facts. Moreover, objectivity requires a reporter to examine different sides of the story to enable them to separate facts from fiction (Borden, 2013). Exploring different sides of a piece of information helps media personalities to figure out how their audience will react to the story. Objectivity is one of the major things that separate journalism from another form of communication especially in the social media. For example, in social media, news stories from the members of the public are usually biased. Social media users most of the time tells on the side of the story that favors their ideology (Madison, 2017)

The other distinct character of the larger journalistic culture is accuracy (Borden, 2013). Every journalist has the responsibility of reporting accurate information. Also, information should be derived from credible sources. Information from the sources should be crosschecked to ensure that whatever was derived from the source is matched to the news story (Brown, 2011). In social media, most of the information is frequently speculative, a fact that separates it from journalism (Madison, 2017). The other distinction is that journalism must portray high levels of integrity at all times (Sigh, 2016). In other words, a journalist must avoid cases that would put them in a situation of conflict of interests. Therefore, a reporter must not extort or accept tokens from people who are interested in the story.

In the wake of social media, journalists have a major problem of time and deadline. Information in the Social media is distributed faster than how it is passed by media houses (Madison, 2017). Therefore, media houses are forced to look for sources and report them within a period. Deadlines mean that a journalist must work within a restricted time frame and at the same time pay attention to details. The concept of deadlines is a depiction of the unique journalistic culture (Brown, 2011).

Finally, journalistic work is surrounded by a sense of greater good. Many reporters believe that their job is a calling and it is not centered on money. Many people pass information for their benefits or their peers. For instance, many people in social media pass information to remain relevant or to conform to certain standards. On the other hand, journalists give information for the benefit of the society (Brown, 2011). Journalistic culture is also unique or different in various regions. Empirical research has shown that journalism culture is distinct in the various countries and geographical areas (Alonso & Ibanez, 2013). To explain the differences in media norms in different countries, researchers came up with the concept of intermediate journalistic cultures (Alonso & Ibanez, 2013). The following is the breakdown of how journalism is regulated and how roles of journalists are defined in different parts of the world:

European Journalism

The state of journalism in Europe has evolved in the last couple of decades. Various political and economic factors have influenced the landscape of journalistic culture in the continent. For example, in cases of countries in the Eastern Europe, the transition from dictatorial to democratic forms of government brought about a sense of journalism freedom (Alonso & Ibanez, 2013). However, in some countries such as Ukraine, the culture of journalism is usually depicted with constant conflicts between journalists and political players (Bohrmann, Balčytienė & Copper, 2007). In Western Europe, research showed that there is a distinction of journalistic culture in various countries. However, media models in the Eastern Europe countries are usually crafted around diversity and freedom of media (Bohrmann, Balčytienė & Copper, 2007).

Asian Journalism

In Asian countries, there is a general culture of obeying people in authority (Alonso & Ibanez, 2013). Also, Asia is rich in culture, and this complicates the whole aspect of journalism. The broad range of culture has led to the creation of a unique type of media that is different from the form in Europe. For instance, many researchers believe that Asian media firms concentrate more on finding the virtues rather than finding news (Alonso & Ibanez, 2013). Also, in China, the media is used to enhance the concept of single party democracy. Media houses in this continent have tried to emulate the models in Western Europe, but the complexity of the cultures in the region has been a major stumbling block.

African Journalism

African countries were colonized by European countries for almost a century. Therefore, journalism in these countries is largely influenced by the Western Culture (Alonso & Ibanez, 2013). However, the independence of journalists has been compromised by lack of stable governments. Therefore, political players influence the process of collecting and distributing information. In other words, political systems usually divert the media towards their directions (Alonso & Ibanez, 2013).

Arab Journalism

Arab journalism is depicted by the influence of Islam and political system of the time. Information conveyed in various media firms has elements of political bias. Also, the media in Arab countries is not self-regulatory, and it is closely monitored by political institutions. Therefore, the journalistic culture in these countries is determined by Islam culture as well as political affiliations (Alonso & Ibanez, 2013)

Latin American Journalism

The culture of Latin American countries is very diverse. In fact, researchers have indicated that in Latin America, it is hard to come up with a common theoretical framework that examines journalism in these countries. However, media in these countries is slowly gaining ground due to the political paradigm shift. In Argentina and Chile, the media has started to cover societal snags such as poverty and crime (Alonso & Ibanez, 2013)

Communication Studies Perspectives

Communication study is the educational process that deals with the study of conveyance and interpretation of meaning in various contexts. The academic discipline is also referred to as media studies, communication, and mass communication in some educational institutions. Communication studies have elements of social sciences and humanities (Sigh, 2016). Communication integrates social sciences disciplines such as anthropology and political science. On the hand, the study encompasses humanities subjects such as history because it examines historical events in Greece. Communication studies perspectives are different points of view in the study of encoding and decoding of meaning (Little & Foss, 2011). The following is a breakdown of the different perspectives in the study of communication:

Functional Approach

The functional perspective believes that communication is the instrument that helps a member of a community to make decisions (Little & Foss, 2011). The approach answers the question how and why communication is related to the process of decision making. Studies conducted under this perspective must take into account the fact that without communication, society members could not accomplish their goals. In journalism, the approach examines how different audiences use mass communication, and the benefits they get from the consumption of journalistic materials (Blanco & Marin, 2010). In communication studies, functional approach determines why people consume certain TV shows. Further, the theory examines the target audience of journalistic materials, and the approach if the society learns anything from what they consume (Blanco & Marin, 2010).

Critical Approach

The critical approach revolves around the fact that media is a means of transmission and interaction. The theory has two concepts; the transmissive and the ritual society. Transfer theory explains the process of communicating messages with the aim of persuading (Little & Foss, 2011). Further, the transmission part inspects whether messages are being conveyed clearly between the sender and the receiver. The ritual concept, on the other hand, examines the process through which given society formulates or creates a shared meaning. Therefore, in communication studies, the cultural perspectives create an outline of meaning that people derive in journalistic materials. Also, the models examine if a specific news story depicts the meaning it is supposed to portray (Blanco & Marin, 2010).

The social approach can be assessed from the Marxist social perspective. Marx believed that the people who own the means of production controlled the social and economic culture of the society (Hammer & Kellner, 2009). Therefore, the ruling class of the society determines what is run in the media houses. In other words, the media works to sustain the interests of people on top of the food chain (Blanco & Marin, 2010).

Empirical Approach

The empirical approach in communication studies incorporates the concepts and techniques of social sciences in communication. Therefore, research methods used in social sciences are integrated into the communication discipline (Little & Foss, 2011). The empirical theory uses different systems of the social sciences subjects such as the research methods uncover the effects of mass communication (Bauer & Buchi, 2010). The empirical concept is based on the fact that truths can be exposed to human interactions.

The primary goal of the empirical perspective is to create theoretical frameworks that examine and govern communication among members of the society. The empirical theory in communication studies helps to understand and predict the outcome of journalistic material in the community. Also, the model contributes in exposing communication patterns of an individual community (Bauer & Buchi, 2010).

Correlation between Communication perspectives with Journalistic Culture

Communication perspective influences the way people think about communication patterns. The models help communication scholars to organize and interpret different aspects of the experience in the conveyance of meaning (Little & Foss, 2011). In other words, communication can be understood and construed in a variety of ways if it is examined through different perspectives. Therefore, theoretical perspectives provide an essential framework for examining the distinction of various journalistic cultures (Luthra, 2009).

The functionalist perspective helps researchers to know why some countries are covered by a series of bad political decisions. The model explains why journalistic culture in some countries does not influence decision making in the political world. For instance, if the media does not highlight the evils that are happening in the government, the members of the society will always remain ignorant about their government. In Western Europe where journalists are independent, the political process of decision making is usually inclusive and efficient. The efficiency heightens because journalists in these states are allowed oversight of the decision makers (Bohrmann, Balčytienė & Copper, 2007).

Using the critical approach, researchers can determine why journalistic culture in some countries is influenced by political players. For example, journalism norms in Arab countries are usually influenced by the culture of Islam and the political institutions (Hammer & Kellner, 2009). The messages from media firms frequently contain elements of political bias. The critical approach is derived from the Marxist social perspectives that explain why the rich exploits the poor. The Marxist approach explains why the media will always protect the interests of the influential people in the society. Also, the approach explains why funding of media by rich in the society influence the culture of independence among journalists (Hammer & Kellner, 2009).

The empirical perspective is the scientific and theoretical framework that allows communication researchers to identify different journalistic cultures in various societies (Little & Foss, 2011). In other words, the model has helped researchers to indulge in the compound subject of journalistic culture in communication studies. For instance, empirical research in journalist has helped many researchers to examine the distinction of journalistic cultures all over the world. The researchers came up with the intermediate journalistic culture and were able to group them according to their respective regions (Bauer & Buchi, 2010).


To sum up, journalism is the process of assembling, generating and presenting information. Therefore, a journalist is the person who creates and distributes this information. Communication is the act of interpreting messages in different contexts. There is a unique relationship between journalism and communication because journalism is a form of communication. However, journalism is different from other types of communication because it is associated with a distinct culture. One of the major elements of the culture is the code of conduct. The code of conduct is the overall guide to all journalists. For instance, all reporters are required to be objective in reporting. The journalistic culture can also be broken down into intermediate cultures that include African journalism, European journalism, and Arab journalism. For instance, media culture in Arab countries is influenced by political institutions. In journalistic studies, different perspectives offer a theoretical framework for studying various journalism aspects. For instance, the functional approach examines the influence of media and communication in the process of decision making.


Alonso, M.O, and Ibanez, D.B. "Intermediate Journalistic Cultures. International Comparative Studies in Journalism." Medijska Istrazivanja. 19.1 (2013): 39-60. Print.

Bauer, M., & Bucchi, M. (2010). Journalism, science and society: Science communication between news and public relations. New York u.a.: Routledge.

Blanco, G. M. L., & Marín, A. J. I. (2010) . Discourse and communication: Cognitive and functional perspectives. Madrid: Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Servicio de Publicaciones.

Bohrmann, H., Balčytienė, A., & Kopper, G. G. (2007). Media industry, journalism culture and communication policies in Europe: [Festschrift für Gerd G. Kopper]. Köln: Von Halem.

Borden, S. (2013). Journalism as Practice: MacIntyre, Virtue Ethics and the Press. Routledge.

Brown, F. (2011) Journalism Ethics: A Casebook of Professional Conduct for News Media. Portland: Marion Street Press. Print.

Hammer, R., & Kellner, D. (2009). Media/cultural studies: Critical approaches. New York: Peter Lang.

Kristensen, N.N. (2017). Cultural Journalism and Cultural Critique in the Media. Routledge.

Littlejohn, S. W., & Foss, K. A. (2011). Theories of human communication. Long Grove, Ill: Waveland Press.

Luthra, R. (2009). Journalism and mass communication: Vol. 2. Oxford: Eolss Publishers Co Ltd.

Madison, E. D. (2017). REIMAGINING JOURNALISM: How social media, comedians, and even reporters are transforming ... the news media: Praeger.

Singh, J. K. (2016). Journalism and mass communication. New Delhi. A.P.H. Publishing Corporation.

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