Attribution of global ethical norms

Pjesivac, I., Spasovska, K., & Imre, I. (June, 2016). Attribution of global ethical norms: Perceptions of journalistic independence and integrity in Serbia, Macedonia, and Croatia. Paper to be presented at the Annual Conference of International Communication Association (ICA). Fukuoka, Japan.

Abstract: This study examined, by comparative thematic analysis, public perceptions of global journalistic norms of independence and integrity by studying perceptions of news media corruption in three Eastern European countries: Serbia, Macedonia, and Croatia. In-depth interviews with 61 representatives of the three nations revealed that, in the public eye, the breaches of journalistic independence and integrity are frequent and take different forms. The participants from Serbia, Macedonia and Croatia thought that journalists from their countries often succumb to pressures from politicians, owners, and advertisers, that they receive direct bribery for positive coverage and even extort money from people; that news media are engaged in hidden advertising and journalists are engaged in nepotism. The results show astonishing similarity of public perceptions of breaches of journalistic independence and integrity with academic and professional findings, and are discussed from the point of view of the cross-country examination of the attribution theory in the context of audiences’ use of situational and trait characteristics in understanding journalistic ethical norms.

Ivanka Pjesivac 

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