Public Service Journalism in the Age of Entrepreneurship

Public Service Journalism in the Age of Entrepreneurship

Maggie Mary Reid
DOI: 10.4018/IJPADA.2018100102
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This article aims to interrogate the phenomenon of “entrepreneurial journalism” – a trend in teaching journalism in post-secondary schools as well as an approach to journalism production to understand changes to the field that have emerged due to digitization and whether they represent a threat to public service journalism. By drawing on qualitative open-ended interviews with journalism educators from three Canadian journalism schools, this article draws on the perspectives of educators in an attempt to understand the extent to which this model is being adopted in Canadian schools, educators perspectives on entrepreneurial journalism, and what values are at the forefront of their teaching practices.
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The Promise Of Journalism

Important to understanding the role of journalism and journalism education is understanding the critical role that news media bears in enabling a well-functioning democratic society. The political economy of communications according to Mosco (2009), is the study of “social relations, particularly the power relations, that mutually constitute the production, distribution and consumption of resources, including communication resources.” (p. 2). The “job” of political economy is to trace the impact of choices available to audiences. In this respect, a political economy of journalism and news media requires an analysis of how power dynamics, specifically ownership and profit based orientation of media organizations, operate to alter the processes of news media making and in turn their ability to facilitate democracy.

Political economy, since its inception, has been tied to moral philosophy and ideas of the public sphere, public good and democracy itself (McChesney, 2008; Cooper, 2005; Murdock & Golding, 1996). Political economists’ views about the public sphere are intrinsically tied to conceptions of the market, namely that ‘free markets’ are not free in any sense and that there needs to be some form of intervention to account for this. Many theorists have taken different positions on what this entails, but at the base level, critical political economists have supported the following premises regarding the public sphere and the role journalism plays in enhancing this end:

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