Ethics and Professional Orientation of Serbian Journalists
Rupar, V; Sezova. S.
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Studies of ethical orientations of journalists, based on large-scale surveys of professional norms and values, generate data that are an important indicator of journal-ism culture. While it is true that what journalists say they do is not always the same as what they actually do, the discourse about professional roles and ethical standards is a prominent marker of journalistic culture and an element that can be and is usually com-pared cross-nationally (Hanitzch & Vos, 2016). This study of Serbian journalists follows this stream of scholarship, offering an empirical contribution to the discussion about journalists and their professional orientation. Based on the survey conducted in 2014 as a part of the Worlds of Journalism Study, we first present a socio-demographic profile of Serbian journalists, and then focus on the views on the role of journalists in society, per-ceived influences on their everyday work and journalists’ perception of ethics. The study approaches journalism as a field of cultural production and adopts the community struc-ture model (Tichenor, Donohue & Olien, 1980) to explore the link between professional orientations of journalists and the demographic characteristics of the community news media are based in. It tests the idea that the perception of the journalist’s role in society might be different in smaller, relatively homogenous towns than in larger, more demo-graphically diverse cities. The study found Serbian journalism culture to be ambiguous, related to the complex set of interactions with political and economic fields, and based on the tension between different models of journalism that have historically influenced the development of the profession in the region, “interventionist” and “monitorial”.