Trust and ethics in local journalism: a distinctive orientation towards responsible journalism and ethical practices

Book chapter


Firmstone, J., Steel, J., Conboy, M., Elliott-Harvey, C., Fox, C., Mulderrig, J., Saunders, J. and Wragg, P. 2022. Trust and ethics in local journalism: a distinctive orientation towards responsible journalism and ethical practices. in: Lynch, J. and Rice, C. (ed.) Responsible Journalism in Conflicted Societies: Trust and Public Service across New and Old Divides Oxfordshire Routledge. pp. 1-15
AuthorsFirmstone, J., Steel, J., Conboy, M., Elliott-Harvey, C., Fox, C., Mulderrig, J., Saunders, J. and Wragg, P.
EditorsLynch, J. and Rice, C.
Abstract

This chapter compares the perceptions and experiences of local journalists with those of other types of journalists in six European countries to advance our understanding of ethics in local journalism in different journalism cultures and contexts. As cross-national insights are rare, the interviews with 31 journalists shed light on journalists’ ethical practices in these contexts. We find that local journalists are united by a shared identification with a distinctive set of values regarding their responsibilities to the public. A commitment to creating and defending the community differentiates them from other types of journalists, indicating that journalistic specialism is a more prominent definer of role perceptions than country context. Local journalists describe having a particularly close relationship with their audience due to geographical proximity, a co-dependence on the community and notions of a shared sense of place. Coupled with the heightened accountability that comes with the greater visibility of local journalists within communities, it is incumbent upon them to strive for high ethical standards. Our findings add to existing evidence that the culture of the newsroom and the news organisation is at least as important (and possibly more) as formal codes of ethics in influencing ethical practices.

KeywordsTrust; Ethics; Local journalism ; Distinctive orientation
Page range1-15
Year2022
Book titleResponsible Journalism in Conflicted Societies: Trust and Public Service across New and Old Divides
PublisherRoutledge
Place of publicationOxfordshire
Edition1st
ISBN9781032013305
Web address (URL)https://www.routledge.com/Responsible-Journalism-in-Conflicted-Societies-Trust-and-Public/Lynch-Rice/p/book/9781032013305
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Output statusPublished
Publication dates30 Sep 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Apr 2022
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