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The world wide web also means increasing competition for newspapers. Not just from TV and radio companies that have moved into producing news in the written word format - the BBC News website is essentially a newspaper that doesn't happen to have a printed edition - but from newer companies and services like MSN and Yahoo! The emergence of self-publishing platforms like the Geocities of old , or the Wordpress blog of today, has reduced the barrier and cost of publishing to virtually nothing. The growth of easy digital publishing technology brings with it new ethical dilemmas for journalists.

Even as the press write scare stories that Facebook can give you cancer , sex diseases and is a danger to your children , newspapers use it as a valuable research tool. Whenever a young person is in the news, Facebook or other similar social networks are usually a ready source of images. No longer does the news desk have to wait for a family to choose a cherished photo to hand over. A journalist can now lift photographs straight from social networking sites, and often, in the most tragic cases, newspapers republish tributes to lost friends that have been posted online.

This leads to a new potential for ethical problems. The Scottish Sunday Express, for example, splashed with a story that survivors of the Dunblane massacre had been 'shaming' the memory of their fallen classmates on Facebook. To most people it just seemed that they were acting like ordinary teenagers on social network sites, and that the 'outrage' was entirely manufactured by the paper. The Express was ultimately forced into an apology for the article , and in part this was because of an online petition of over 11, people protesting about the article.

It is Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir , however, who has become the text book example for this kind of thing. Moir wrote a column about Stephen Gately's death that was accused of being homophobic, and, with publication on the eve of his funeral, was at the very least extremely poorly timed. Digital publishing and the growth of social media facilitated widespread protest against her piece, and as links to the article spread across the web, an unprecedented total of over 22, complaints were registered with the Press Complaints Commission.

Well, maybe not, since in the end, the PCC effectively brushed aside the complaints , and argued that Moir had a right to comment and express her opinion. I don't think the episode was without consequence though. I'm not clear that many of those 22, people complaining would have even heard of the Press Complaints Commission before the janmoir hashtag and Facebook campaign pages got going. They've now had a dispiriting experience of press self-regulation. Subsequently, Rod Liddle has become the first person to have complaint about their online blog upheld by the PCC , because they ruled an opinion piece must have some basis in fact.

The Liddle article was also widely complained about online, and this particular ruling may be the beginning of us seeing online protests having an impact on press accountability. There is still an inequality in publishing - albeit one that I think sometimes journalists don't appreciate. Journalists still have exclusive access to newspaper audiences, and the technology developed by the news industry.

But they also have access to all of the other freely available tools as well. When I look at a publishing platform like Tumblr , it sometimes seems like the only way you can't publish to the Internet is by folding up a message into a bottle and throwing it into the sea. Everything else - email, voice phone call, desktop app, iPhone app - is catered for.

There is no reason why a journalist cannot use Tumblr or YouTube or Dipity to tell their story. They are not forbidden from using the same tools as the 'citizen journalist' or blogger. Blogging was only subsequently integrated back into the BBC site when he had demonstrated that the medium had journalistic value. The amount of equipment needed to cover events has also drastically decreased. A single decent smartphone can replace the separate camera, sound recording equipment and laptop needed to report from events even just a couple of years ago.

Somewhat taking its shape from the over-by-over or minute-by-minute text sports commentary, these are rolling articles on a topic updated during the day as a story unfolds. There seems to have been a particular focus on them for this year's election campaign. At The Guardian, Andrew Sparrow has been leading the way. On any given day his election live blog will cover the main party press conferences, feature embedded video, commentary on the party campaigns, and prominent links to other web coverage of the election.

It is very much a pick'n'mix hybrid type of coverage, and seems particularly native to the web. Unlike the traditional written article, or the two minute video or audio slot, you can't translate the live blog directly to another medium. Another area where I expect to see technological innovation impact on journalism is the concept of 'Linked data'.

This is a movement to make the web more 'semantic', taking us from a collection of hyperlinked documents to a collection of hyperlinked data and facts. In some domain areas, like music, the principle is becoming well established, and media companies are already making use of it. The site Musicbrainz provides a unique identifier for artists, which allows other sites to link their content about a band or singer with relevant related content.

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The Magnetic Fields are 3ff72af39dd-9fd4a for example, and so the BBC are able to make this page which gives an overview of the band by extracting a biography from Wikipedia, and automatically assembles other information about them from around the web. They are then able to link this to a list of when and where their music has been played on BBC Radio. The domain model to make these kinds of connections between news stories is more complex - but some of the building blocks are beginning to appear. Not least of these is the fact that the UK Government is committed to releasing data according to Linked Data standards , raising the possibility that every school or hospital, for example, will have permanent unique identifiers that can be applied to news content.

This could significantly change the way that journalists research stories and make connections , and news organisations seem well placed to utilise this development to present the data-driven stories that will emerge to their mass audiences. Here, too, Western professionalization theory offers a useful paradigm. For, as the bureaucratic state developed in the West, professionals' life increasingly moved in setting to large bureaucracies. In communist states, political penetration has made independent professional work outside of some bureaucratic setting almost impossible even for the members of the "free professions.

This is done through the employer's control over the recruitment of professionals. Because of this, professional workers' primary loyalty is to their employer. It decides, in part guided by the expertise of the professional, what the clients' needs are for services and how they should be met. In this case, professional identification is split between the employing bureaucracy and the professional group.

Experts would willingly limit their activities to serving as sources of information for elite decision-making and establishing careers solely through ties with members of the political elite.

A History of the International Movement of Journalists: Professionalism Versus Politics (ebook)

Their loyalty would be measured by their support for elite positions. It would then follow that, because of their ties to the political elite, professionals would make no attempt to articulate independent and oppositional interests. Their only concern would be to move up in the political hierarchy. Interest group research done on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, however, shows that this is not normally the case. Professional demands do occur.

Professionals, no matter how closely they are connected in their work or personal lives with the political leadership, do make demands and press for autonomy. And, ultimately, professionals are able to mediate between the public and the political leadership. The professional model The conflicts between theories of how groups should and can act under the constraints in communist societies and the realities of group action are, at least, partially explained with the professionalization theory that has been used by sociologists and political scientists to deal with groups or "professions" in the West, ranging from the traditional "free professions," like doctors and lawyers, to those enmeshed in twentieth-century bureaucracies.

The occupational groups to which it has been applied are defined in Western sociological theory as groups with unique skills and, therefore, the option of becoming "private governments" with at least some authority and autonomy in their own spheres of interest and expertise. Informal organization, characterized as it is by a colleague network, is the vital link in professional life. Formal professional organizations are really structural concessions to represent a profession to nonprofessionals. Professionals are not seen as simply being "invited" into the policy process.

They also act independently to formulate professional rules and policies and press to protect and enhance their interests. The political leadership in communist societies serves, then, not as the "gatekeeper" but as the target of professional pressure and, ultimately, the arbiter of professional demands. Professionalizing The ability of any profession to reach the point where it can build and maintain a significant amount of autonomy within a bureaucracy is a result of both the process of individual professionalization and the process of professionalization for the group itself.

The latter occurs as the group moves to take an increasingly autonomous position by establishing its own formal and informal structures. At an individual level, four elements are involved in transforming an individual into a professional: 1 the recruitment and training process; 2 work experiences and the resulting interaction with fellow professionals; 3 the structures and rules for controlling professionals' behavior that are developed within the profession and codified and reinforced by formal and informal professional associations; and 4 the impact of external images of the profession held by the society.

All of them go on in any environment in which the profession develops. Furthermore, the experience of Polish journalists indicates that political pressure and manipulation of the profession do not stop individuals from becoming professionalized.


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These political pressures may veil the professionalization, but, in reality, they sharpen and make more urgent the move to professionalization. The same is true of the effect of political pressure on the professionalization of the group. In spite of the repression of the Polish journalism profession during World War II and under the Stalinist Journalists as professionals 17 system, as well as the pressure of the political elite against the development of group autonomy and ideals, professionalization has occurred.

The Polish journalism profession has followed the same course of development as have Western professions functioning without these kinds of political controls. The historical pattern common to Western professions and to the case of Polish journalists began with individuals performing the work of the profession on a full-time basis and counting on it for their main income. When individuals were committed to the profession as fulltime work, the need to perfect a body of expertise and protect work options then became greater.

Professionals pressed for the establishment of training programs and, eventually, for their inclusion in university curricula. This resulted in the development of standards for entrance into the profession that involve lengthy and costly training programs and early recruitment. It also has given the profession more exclusivity and more worth in comparison with other occupations. Schools, in turn, have served as an organizational base for the establishment of a professional association, with the university affiliation simultaneously raising the status of the profession.

The title of the profession often is changed to further upgrade a profession's public image. The association then discusses such questions as: is this a profession; what are a professionals' tasks; and, how can the quality of recruits be raised? During these discussions, conflicts develop among practitioners from different backgrounds. Campaigns to separate the competent from the incompetent begin as well. A pecking order for the delegation of tasks develops. The "old guard," who learned through apprenticeships and are committed to their patrons and the use of "talent" as justification for entrance into the profession, fights against newcomers who came from the prescribed university course.

This generational conflict stimulates pressure to put hiring and firing under professional group control. At the same time, there is competition for "turf" between the profession and neighboring groups. All of this eventually adds to the development of an entire system, both formal and informal, to regulate professional behavior and emphasize the role of the professional in serving society. It frequently involves political agitation to win the support of law to protect the "turf" of professional work and the profession's own code of ethics.

To further protect their "turf" and 18 Poland's journalists their status, professional groups also develop rules to eliminate those who disgrace the group, to reduce internal competition and to emphasize that only a member of the profession can provide certain services to the society. These crises are even less fully and permanently resolved in the communist world. Leadership changes and increase or decrease in political pressure bring each one to the surface again and again. The demographic devastation of World War II in Poland further created an age imbalance that exacerbated the generational conflict and the need for issues to be reconsidered and battled through with each generation.

And, the prohibitions on visible and independent group activity make any full public resolution and commitment impossible. Professionals and the policy process The nature and significance of professional group and individual professionals' involvement in the policy process is dependent on more, though, than the invitation and interest of the political elite in both Soviet bloc and Western states. The nature of an issue and its relevance to different individuals or groups determine who gets involved and how. Which professionals and professional groups get involved in the policy process depends, as well, not simply on who the policy-makers want to hear but also on the nature of a given profession and the profession's own priorities.

Finally, the stage at which groups become involved in a decision or policy and the impact they have are outgrowths of the nature of the policy itself as well as the political leadership's interest in that policy. Some have a direct impact on a profession, its work and its compensation. Formal professional groups play significant roles in organizing around these issues and advocating policies that increase the profession's standing and its benefits. They also act to strengthen professionals' power and the power of the professional association.

In doing this, professional groups claim authority and responsibility for themselves. Other kinds of policies are relevant to professionals only when their expertise is relevant to resolving issues on an individual or informal group basis. In these cases, normally, the policy has no direct impact on an individual's life or work. The professional serves as a repre- Journalists as professionals 19 sentative of other groups through the use of his technical expertise and recognized knowledge in a particular area.

Finally, in some policies, professionals are involved as policy administrators. The passage of these policies affects the profession's role but not necessarily either its own interests or work patterns. In this final case, professional involvement occurs through advocacy by the professional association or experts from the profession and through policy administration.

Issues that affect professionals' own lives and work are regarded by professionals and their associations as their exclusive domain. The tendency is to keep the public and the state government away from what they see as professional concerns. In doing this, professional associations, both formal and informal, become "private governments" providing services and material benefits to their members.

They also set up structures to regulate individual behavior within the professional community. Finally, they move to represent the interests of the profession to the public government. Internally, each professional association has its own governance. This governance is determined by the profession's goals, the nature of its membership, and its members' socio-economic positions and needs as well as the association's past history. To do this, they divide professionals up into sections reflecting the varied interests and foci of the group's members. By establishing and maintaining this control and coordination, professional organizations influence the public regulation of the profession and its work.

They also influence the profession's membership and its public image. This internal structure is not designed to insure democracy and full participation of all professionals within the organization. Dissent within the profession weakens the organization's negotiating position. So dissent and deviation, either in professional work patterns or be- 20 Poland's journalists havior, are discouraged both formally and informally. As a service organization, the professional association is involved in lobbying and providing guidance to the government on complex issues. Group democracy and action are replaced by power invested in a permanent bureaucracy and a relatively stable and identifiable elite.

So, crucial issues are seldom discussed and voted on by the profession as a whole. Instead, they are normally handled informally by the profession's leaders. Ironically, though, however strong and visible that formal elite is, it is not the only professional elite.

In each profession, there is, on the one hand, a parallel elite of individuals whose professional work is seen as excellent. On the other hand, those who make a career out of professional politics and representation are a self-selected few. They tend to be persons of high, but not top, prestige and authority within the profession.

Their work is normally not a model for the profession. In fact, because movement up to the top of the professional organization is usually a result of gradual advancement up through lower level professional offices, most of those in the formal organizational elite spend years of their careers working less than full-time in real professional work.

Their relationship with the profession as a whole is skewed by their experiences as bureaucrats and lobbyists. As a result, in Western democracies where professional organizations' dynamics have been studied, these individuals, the bureaucrats, are identified with the professional world they represent and not stellar professional work. Structurally, professional associations in communist societies are hybrids of the two most common forms of professional organization: the guild model of equality among lower level professionals in various workplace and speciality groups71 and the pyramidal hierarchy model of a bureaucratic structure working to protect the profession against external bureaucracies.

This external pressure makes the nonbureaucratic guild model less effective because the ruling bureaucracy of the Party and state both mandates and then responds only to corresponding professional bureaucracies. This same pressure, though, also exists in increasingly bureaucratized Western states. For professional groups in Western and communist societies who contribute to policy-making as advisors or administrators, policy-making is a complex process. It has many stages at which individuals and groups can visibly and invisibly enter and impact on policies.

Involvement in the early stages allows individuals and groups to define the issues and solutions they want to consider. It also allows them to determine who will be heard in the debate. Involvement in the middle and most public stages is often limited to tinkering with the basic policy set out early on.

This, ultimately, may force rethinking of policy but is not well enough articulated to serve as a clear model for a policy reform. Journalists tend to be one of the most privileged professions because they enter into the early stages of policy-making and play "gatekeeper" roles in later stages. Some have ties with top political leaders and know, from friends, when an issue is being discussed by the leadership. They can use highly personalized and private channels to influence top elite discussions: personal and informal connections with leaders and their assistants that have been built up through years of joint work and social contact; non-published communications to the elite; and part-time or full-time work in political offices.

In the most public stage of the policy process the press is one of the major forums for debate and the presentation of information. At a minimum, in the press and professional groups, there are veiled discussions that are monitored by the political leaders or are reflections of private presentations made directly to those leaders.


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  • It often is to the advantage of the politicians to allow open discussion so long as this discussion does not jeopardize their ideological power. Only in this way can the top elite be assured of obtaining the most accurate information from the broadest 22 Poland's journalists range of experts without those experts limiting themselves to what the elite wants to hear. Such discussions also stimulate non-expert opinion from those directly affected by the policy. This is most often voiced through journalists' reports or letters to journals and public agencies. This normally ends the debate on a specific policy but does not always end the policy process.

    Individuals, even in strictly regulated communist polities, articulate their interests indirectly and try to get special treatment. Frequently, the aggregate behavior of social groups in response to a policy becomes a significant part of the memory of the elite and of society. This is then taken into account when policy-makers redesign policy. Journalists contribute to both the articulation of individual interests and the visibility of specific group responses to policies by acting as ombudsmen for individual problems and constantly reporting on events and attitudes through their public and private channels.

    This means that, while citizens are made aware of policies through the media, journalists also serve as channels to modify the impact of policies on individual citizens and to alert policymakers to problems in how their policies work. Finally, explicit and direct criticism of the impact and administration of a law is made. This broader discussion, characterized in its public form as "press criticism," is, in part, an indication of policy-makers' interest in the administration and the success or failure of a policy in real life.

    From the perspective of the population, this press criticism is aimed at pressuring the elite to legitimize discussion and modify a policy. Clearly, journalists are more involved in policy discussions than many professions because of their control over media platforms for public dabate and their ties with political elites. Like the professional organizations that protect professional interests, this involvement is not simply a matter of invitation by the policy-makers.

    It is a product of the relationship between professional role demands and the requirements of political involvement. Frequently, too, elite policy-making is influenced by the experiences they had, when they worked in one or another profession or policy area. For other professions, like the medical profession, movement into politics requires time and skills which practicing in a profession like medicine does not allow.

    As a result, some professions are more likely to be actively involved in policy debates not directly affecting their professional worlds than are others.

    Thus, Western oriented professionalization theory provides a model for explaining both the power of professionals and specialists and the ability of groups to affect policy in communist systems when neither professional dominance nor group interests are recognized as legitimate. Clearly, the gate-keeper role of the political elite is crucial in any situation. But, the apparent congruence of behavior between Western professional associations and those in Eastern Europe suggests that the natural dynamics of professional interaction may be a significant factor in politics.

    It also suggests that this will be more true for purely professional issues with low political salience and a limited constituency than it is with other issues. But, in less visible ways, professional input, buoyed by professionalization, occurs on all levels. Polish journalists: the virtues of atypicality The atypicality of Polish journalists and their national environment makes their professionalism an ideal and accessible model for looking at the relationship between professionalization, professional group imperatives, and professionals' input in policy-making.

    Polish journalists, first of all, do not have the normal qualities that are assumed by Western theorists to be necessary for a group to feel that it is imperative to act as professionals. To a greater extent than most professions, journalists do not share a common class origin. They are very involved in politics and very divided as a group in their political orientations. They enter the profession without any single training base.

    They have, however, all the characteristics of professional groups: high levels of self-definition as professionals, and of loyalty to their profession. In addition, they have had very high, almost exclusionary, patterns of informal group interaction. Like Western journalists, they have developed this sense of an overriding professional identity in spite of the fact that they are in a highly unregulated, competitive, yet bureaucratized field, and do their work through constant formal and social contacts with individual sources of information from outside the profession.

    They must maintain and impose their professional identity 24 Poland's journalists and boundaries on a world where writing well is not considered either a unique skill or a technological necessity. Finally, the world of Polish politics is the most tumultuous and unstable in Eastern Europe. It is a political situation into which journalists are constantly drawn.

    The demands on them, though, are never consistent. This makes them periodically rethink their personal and professional ideals and affiliations. Research opportunities For Western researchers, Poland is also an environment where discussion and action are more open and visible than in other more stable and controlled communist states.

    So, even under the conditions of the mid-seventies, interviews, survey research, and access to internal professional transcripts and reports allowed this study to survey far more than merely what had been published. This primary data, reinforced and enlivened by the words and works of journalists, press scholars, and politicians in the heady discussions and experiments of the Solidarity era and the dramatic changes that came with martial law, provided the data for much of this discussion of journalists' life and work.

    It reflects the research done on the journalism profession in the West and the research of Polish scholars on the profession as well as the writings of journalists about their work, their profession, and their concerns. In fact, much of the discussion of changes is based on Polish scholars' surveys done in and among Polish journalists and a survey done by this author in using a similar sample of Polish journalists.

    More impressionistic evidence as well as information about policy relevant behavior and non-public negotiations largely comes from interviews with journalists in Poland in and smaller samples in and This data was further validated by the comparable interview results when interviews were done with former Polish journalists in Western Europe and the United States between and Beginning in , workers, peasants, and women entered the Journalists as professionals 25 Table 1 Percentage increase in membership in the union of journalists Year Number of members Percentage increase 2, 2, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 9, Sources: SDP Archives, and profession in large numbers - far larger than before the war.

    This Stalinist era group continued to be the core of the profession for the next thirty years since they came into the profession, in the late forties and early fifties, when they were in their teens and early twenties. As a result of this stability, there were places for only a few recruits in the sixties and seventies. And, while a large number of the profession's elite, who had entered soon after the war, retired, resigned, or were kept out of the profession after the declaration of martial law, this generation remained a major professional force both numerically and as role models for professional work in the post era.

    The next most numerically and professionally significant group has come from the s entrants who rose to prominence as a result of Solidarity and the changes in the profession. As a profession, journalists and journalism are considered to be part of the intelligentsia. They have life-styles, values, and social status like those of other intelligentsia groups. But, at least in the forties and fifties, when there was massive recruitment of potentially loyal regime followers into the profession, the majority of those able to get work in the profession were working class.

    From to , 66 percent of the students in journalism education programs were working class. For them, the gains in being raised from the working class to the intelligentsia have been invaluable. By , only But, basically, it was a result of the fact that television emerged as a "serious" media in Poland only in the s.

    Then, when most television journalists were hired, the issue of "class background" was less significant. With the advent of the Solidarity period, the class structure of the profession did not change dramatically. Worker journalists were not treated as members of the profession. Those already in the professional association and in established professional circles simply treated "worker-journalists" as newcomers who would have to serve the customary apprenticeship period before they could be treated as full-scale professionals.

    Education and professional training, as is clear from the problems and adjustments in the journalism education programs of the postwar period, are not required for professional work in journalism. In the early period of heavy recruitment, there were more journalists with only high school education than there were with university degrees.

    The legacy of the fifties remained: politics took precedence so 72 percent of journalists under thirty-five had completed their university degrees but only 34 percent of those between forty-five and fifty-five, individuals who entered the profession in the initial postwar years when political qualifications were paramount, had finished their university course work. Not only has professionalization occurred without autonomous professional education, but, it also occurred even where individuals entered journalism from other fields. To make this shift involved getting new skills and working in new ways as well as shedding old loyalties.

    More than half of the journalists surveyed in had worked outside journalism: In fact, because this later survey was done primarily among regional and lower level journalists, even more 60 percent claimed to have had some other profession prior to becoming journalists. This movement into journalism from other work is reported to have gone on in the period as well, among those who did make a permanent move into the profession.

    Professionals' political affiliations The prime challenges to the autonomy of journalism come from the political authorities in Poland. They define the journalism profession as an "instrument of the Party" and demand that it be a part of the political establishment in a more direct sense than other professions are. Party membership is, therefore, more common for journalists than for other professional groups in Poland. Nearly half 47 percent of all members of the Association of Polish Journalists SDP and 56 percent of all those involved in work related to journalism were Party members as of The martial law attempt to get control of the profession and limit its autonomy did not result in journalists taking on Party membership as a prerequisite to professional work.

    The profession was, at least initially, fragmented because of individuals' intense reaction to martial law and its system of repression. Many journalists left established, high visibility positions and Party membership on their own or because they were blacklisted. Membership in the new Association of Polish Journalists of the Polish People's Republic SDPRL also ceased to be a simple matter of membership and became a political statement because the new Association appeared as an imposed substitute for the old Association, involved as it was in with Solidarity.

    As of 3 May, , of the 5, members of the SDPRL, 65 percent were 28 Poland's journalists members of the Communist Party and 4 percent were members of the two minor parties. Still, even under martial law, the authorities could not bring nearly half of the working professionals into Party membership. As with other professions involved in politics, appointment to important positions in the profession is controlled by the Party through its right to approve all major appointments nomenklatura at all governmental levels. Therefore, in managerial positions considered important by the Party bureaucracy or leadership, Party membership is higher than in other positions.

    In , according to a report by the Association of Polish Journalists: Membership in political organizations by editors down to the level of managing editor is high. More of those who entered in this period are Party members than was the case for those who joined in the s and s. This has been clear not only from the presence of a significant percentage of non-Party members in the upper levels of the professional hierarchy but also by the concentration of journalists who are Party members. Warsaw, the most advantageous and prestigious place to live and work, has a much smaller percentage of Party journalists than other areas where professional work has lower status but staffs are smaller and local officials' surveillance is far higher.

    In , then, In that department, Self-identification Whatever their backgrounds, political affiliations, and past ties, journalists see themselves as journalists.

    Professionalization of Journalism

    They also see their profession as "the best" of the professions. In fact, measured by the standards of willingness to leave the profession, ranking of occupations, and journalists' rates of interaction with members of other groups as compared to their interaction with fellow journalists, Polish journalists have a higher level of professional identification than has existed in any other professional grouping. Even in the aftermath of criticism of the media in the Solidarity period and the repression of journalists and media workers involved with the reform movement, ultimately few complete departures from the profession took place.

    One estimate by a former official of the SDP was that initially some 2, left because of expulsions or an unwillingness to work under the military regime; but, within six months of the declaration of martial law, all but a few had returned to the profession in some form - lesser known publications, writing under pseudonyms, underground writing, or publishing jobs - and all but a few who remained outside the profession did so as journalists making symbolic gestures.

    Even at that, professional circles and information exchanges continued and were strengthened in this period for a full discussion of the professional response and involvement in Solidarity and during the martial law period, see chapter 6. Journalists' responses in to the question "What do you think is the best occupation? The largest percentage of 30 Poland's journalists respondents listed "journalism" as the best occupation Those who did not see their own profession as the "best" tended to focus on other comparable professions.

    In the case of Warsaw professionals, most saw the non-technical intelligentsia as "the best" but, in the case of regional journalists, technical intelligentsia careers were considered the best. On the other hand, although 9. Then, journalists ranked teachers, doctors and engineers highest because of their roles in "educating the society" and "developing Poland" - roles journalists' own professional ideology specifies as primary responsibilities of their profession.

    Lawyers and artists were ranked lowest because they had "little influence on changes in the society" and "play a minimal role in the society" - again a reflection of journalists' application of their professional values. In fact, competing pulls for loyalty tend to increase identification with journalism. Anecdotal evidence further indicates that, in spite of journalists' own criticisms of their profession's past work and in spite of public attacks in the s on the media, this positive image of the profession has remained. Problems were blamed on outside interference and occasional "weak" professionals not on the professional work itself.

    Finally, whether or not they remained in their positions, journalists continued to do work related to information gathering and presentation and attacked those who denigrated the profession by violating professional ethics or restricting their professional autonomy to suit political demands. Journalists as professionals 31 Informal group interaction Even more crucial than individual identification in determining a profession's ability to function as a group controlling its own world and acting in the public arena are the patterns of individual social interaction.

    In communist societies where formal professional organizations are monitored and controlled, independent action occurs primarily through individuals' informal, personal relationships. The more the profession is the prime source for professionals' friendships, the greater its base for group action. To identify patterns of informal group life, three questions were asked of Polish journalists: "With whom do you associate most frequently?

    Those outside of Warsaw spend more time with other journalists than do those living in Warsaw who, on the whole, have much larger intelligentsia circles. Party members associate as frequently with other journalists as do those with no Party affiliation, although they do have a slight tendency to see Party activists more frequently 9. In fact, in both and , journalists' involvement with other journalists was greater for those coming from working-class backgrounds or having less than a full university level education. For them, not only was entry into the profession a significant move for upward mobility but it also was the most comfortable of the intelligentsia professions with which they could associate.

    Not only are relations between journalists on a single staff close but journalists relate socially and professionally with members of other staffs with high frequency. Given both the high level of primary social 32 Poland's journalists interaction among journalists and the extent of journalists' association with members of other staffs From this data too, there are indications that, even in "normal periods'7 of external control, there has been an interlocking pattern of contacts holding journalists together as more than colleagues who work together and need to protect their journal or television program.

    With the advent of the Solidarity press and the movement of workers and non-journalists into it, these patterns of association by traditional journalists did not decrease. Even those who worked for Solidarity and its press reported in that, when martial law had closed their journals and offices down, they had little inclination to continue their ties with the workers and new "journalists" with whom they worked during the fifteen months of Solidarity.

    Instead, they kept their ties with colleagues from earlier years. The only deviation from the pattern that appeared in the and surveys was that, after martial law was declared, journalists had a tendency to exclude from their social circles old friends and colleagues who had made different political choices in responding to the declaration of martial law and the closing down of the old postwar association.

    This split was particularly evident among older journalists who had entered the profession after the war and had their own independent financial cushion. It was less the case for young journalists who were dependent on their work for their livelihood. The Polish case The world in which these journalists work has been one of change and upheaval interspersed with longer periods of stability and Party control.

    It is also one in which even the most control-oriented leadership has been forced to compromise full communist rule and recognize the Catholic Church's right to function and the right of the peasantry to private farming, as well as to show greater tolerance of independent opinion than has existed elsewhere in the Soviet bloc. All of this brought with it a factionalization of the political leadership that gave journalists options in their elite affiliations. With this factionalization among regime politicians and compromise with popular demands on the mass level, Poland has, since the Stalinist period, been Journalists as professionals 33 a "quasi-pluralistic authoritarian" state rather than a representative of the more authoritarian Soviet model.

    The media and leadership policies have been subject to scathing criticisms in each of these periods of upheaval. Journalists and other groups, thus, have been pushed and pulled from one set of demands and expectations to another. They also have regularly experienced losses of freedom after the Party leadership quashed popular unrest. With this has come disillusionment and retreat into silent work for individual and group interests.

    The instability of political rule in Poland has brought with it a greater freedom for groups to be seen and their demands heard. It has meant, even in the Stalinist period, a decreased level of fear and increased willingness publicly to voice demands and opinions about the political situation. In these ways, the experience of Polish journalists is an atypical case for Soviet bloc states. But, although the boundaries of tolerance have normally been broader in Poland than in other Soviet bloc states, the state ideology, the Party and state institutions, and the "rules of the game" are the same as those in the other systems in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

    Journalists' ability to maintain and protect themselves is based not simply on greater freedom in Poland but on their professionalization. This took root not in the uniquely Polish moments of freedom but in the repressive days of the Stalinist imposition of communist rule.

    Such soil clearly also rooted the journalists of Hungary, who joined the "revolution" in , and Czechoslovakia, many of whom were leaders or observers in And, the realities of professional life, although the restrictions may be looser, are not that distinct from the realities of journalists' lives in the more controlled system of the rest of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Few of Poland's cadre of prewar journalists remained at the end of the war. And, most of those who had survived were summarily blacklisted or pushed to the side by the time communist rule was established in late In their place came a deluge of young men and women for whom journalism and the new communist rule offered a chance "to make it.

    Paper, ink, and printing presses were simply not available. And, most skilled and experienced journalists had been killed; had escaped to the West; or had gone into hiding, publishing only under pseudonyms. The prewar Polish press had been outlawed by the Germans and the press that came out during the war, with the exception of a few Polish language papers controlled by the Germans, came from the communist and noncommunist undergrounds. All that remained were memories of the prewar traditions of the press as an independent voice against unwelcome rulers and a forum for intellectual discussion.

    These traditions fit the realities of a Poland partitioned between three empires and the time of freedom that followed World War I, only to be worn down by a military regime. And, as is clear from the fact that the interwar laws on the press and censorship remained on the books until Solidarity and intellectual groups joined forces to pass a censorship law in , these old traditions and the professionalizing force they exerted fit even after the communist takeover and the Stalinist attempt at control. Polish journalism history has served as an incentive for the professionalization process to occur even though it has been enmeshed in moves from all sides to control the freedom of the press.

    It has also led to the creation of "group myths. This image of journalists as preservers of the nation has continued to be crucial to journalists' image. Because of its role in contentious interwar political discussions, the journalism profession also has a tradition of keeping political conflicts between journalists out of professional life. So, except in crisis periods like and , journalists' professional forums since World War II have been comparatively free of political rhetoric.

    In addition, the focus of the prewar profession on the journals and issues of the educated class has continued into the "socialist workers' press system. Because of the contradictory pressures on the profession during the communist takeover and the Stalinist period, the profession has also never seen itself as truly a part of the political establishment. And, finally, because of the role played by the profession in , the "myth" of the potential "power of the press" has been the dominant one for the postwar journalism profession. No analysis of professional beliefs and actions can go far without a look at the first experiences of the profession.

    It is these experiences, after all, that not only schooled the profession but have also served as its point of reference. It was the pressure of the Stalinist regime for a press that was read and was still an ideological spokesman for the regime that inculcated in journalists the sense that professional and political involvement and obedience could not be integrated.

    Journalists developed, without articulating their concerns, mechanisms to protect themselves from political interference. They learned to trust those who were most critical and to play politics with those who controlled their work options. And, ultimately, the unmasking of Stalinism and the accumulation of impossible demands and unfilled promises made journalists political cynics and determined professionals. In fact, the massive political changes and the continual political interference under which the Polish press works forced key professional demands to be resolved at one stage and resolved again when political demands changed.

    With the reemergence of each issue, be it education, the nature and rights of professional organizations, or external power over the profession, traditions and patterns of earlier periods have matched their challengers. As a result, there has been a The postwar roots of the profession 37 real continuity of institutional styles and professional values. Furthermore, political pressures on journalism have served, in the long run, to expedite the professionalization process and strengthen the professionalism of Polish journalism.

    First lessons In , the future of the Polish press was no clearer than the future of Poland itself. Claiming to be a part of a "popular front" aimed at reconstructing Poland, the communist "Lublin government" moved to control news agencies, radio stations, and press distribution ostensibly because of postwar shortages. But, gradually, they used their control to make it exceedingly difficult for papers not supporting the communists to survive.

    They recruited and staffed the new press both by using direct instructions and by guiding events through the chief editors they appointed from their own local Party committees. When there were no qualified recruits available, they set up programs of their own to train them even as the Warsaw authorities dragged their feet on promises to reestablish the prewar school of journalism. Party committees also got actively involved in how "their" papers looked and what they said. As this occurred, the Union of Polish Journalists, resurrected from its prewar base, became increasingly powerless.

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    It made rules that limited employment in journalism to its members. The Party committees hired whomever they pleased. Still, the union took complaints about the growing Party control on the press and presented them to political leaders who would listen. But, nothing happened. By , there was no longer any question about the fate of the press and the journalism profession. The pressures on the press exerted by the Ministry of Information and local communist authorities were hardly veiled: in the battle over the elections, the communist controlled ministry closed down or restricted most non-communist journals, leaving many prewar journalists finally and firmly out of work and, therefore, disqualified as members of the union.

    It turned from advocating professional rights to trying to buy political loyalty. Journalists complained most in these meetings about conflicts with officials over access to information. They cited specific places where they were blocked from observing the events they were sent to report6 and where signs were posted in offices saying, "Entrance by journalists forbidden. What journalists found, instead, was that institutions were unwilling to make information available8 and "bad humor, strong protests and attacks blaming journalists for their criticism and holding them responsible for the results of bad and dangerously done work abounded.

    The union sponsored trips for journalists to Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria but not to the Western countries where Polish journalists had gone in the past. In line with the national campaign for "increased production," journalists were judged on "the correctness of their information, the work they did in rapidly informing the public, the ties that they developed with their readers, their punctuality in closing editions, and their exactness in adjusting their material. Editors and managing editors were excused from requirements that they publish a set number of articles monthly.

    The media policy which would govern this period had two often inconsistent goals: to win support from a hostile population for communist rule in Poland and to sovietize the population. To do this, the media was instructed to: be propagandists who day after day convey Marxist-Leninist theories, agitators who day after day speak about the international political situation and about the Party's and people's government policies, and organizers who day after day mobilize our forces for their active part in Socialist construction.

    This is a powerful instrument of the Party in its endeavor to bring up a new generation of builders of socialism in Poland. He collected letters and articles from Party propagandists and worker-peasant correspondents. He intervened with low level bureaucrats on behalf of individuals in the name of the Party. His professional talents as a writer of prose were significant only if he produced Party propaganda. The union was transformed into a Soviet style "transmission belt" to mold the profession. Its union functions were transferred to the general trade union council.

    But, members continued to look to the new Association to solve their problems. The intensive journalistic training programs served to isolate the new recruits from all but their professional peers and to develop among them a real sense of community. Peasant-worker correspondents insulated working journalists from the real world. At the same time, whether they came into the profession after an internship as correspondents or not, most recognized how poorly the system worked and how different reality was from the well painted pictures the press was expected to provide.

    Journalists, too, felt the sting of local pressure for revealing problems. This meant that they had to create for themselves a safe and cherished haven. Also, the pressure on journalists to specialize made them more and more able to see through propaganda and to criticize policies, based on their own knowledge. Between and , the membership of the journalism organization more than doubled. As the professional journal, Prasa Polska stated in February, "reservoirs of journalism cadres are the Party and social activists, worker and peasant correspondents.

    This formal education was basically centered at the School of Journalism at the University of Warsaw. The course work was explicitly to reflect "both the Soviet experience and the new methods of teaching journalism used in the West.

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    When the school began to produce its own specialists and the need for students who could actually produce a paper was too great, the dominance of political activists and subjects was reduced, professional journalists were brought in as lecturers, and courses on press history and journalistic techniques were added. While they were in the program, they were expected to stretch their time to do an apprenticeship and, more importantly, to be members of the Party youth organization or the Party itself. The real lessons they had learned in their journalistic education were taking effect as they became secure in their jobs.

    Their experiences had been none too positive. The experience of being educated to be journalists did not create political loyalists as it was designed to. Instead, it was a professionalizing one even though it was not professionally controlled The postwar roots of the profession 41 and did not teach a unique body of professional knowledge. Because of the intensity of the program and the concentration of its students, too poor to live elsewhere, in dormitories, journalism students were together thirty-eight to forty hours a week in classes and then lived together. So, their world was that of their fellow students.

    From this, they developed a strong sense of membership and identity with "journalists" that has lasted for the last forty years as these once politically trusted recruits molded and led the profession. Their sense of themselves as a group turned against the system as they went out into the real world.

    Since political slogans and Marxism-Leninism did them little good in the newsroom, these young recruits apprenticed themselves to older, trained journalists who were often far from pro-regime political animals. They found that their education had misled them about the realities of political life in Poland: Even on things close to me.

    My world was the journalism program. It was like a cloister, things changed when I left. What I saw then was not what I had learned to believe when I was in school. When I got ready to do my first report on all that collectivization had brought the peasants, I was ready to be welcomed by the happy peasants. Instead, my senior colleagues warned me to carry a gun to protect myself from their fury.

    I knew that my teachers had lied.