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Audience and Journalists Agree on Tasks of Journalism: Study "What Journalists Ought to Do and What They Want to Do" Published

Audience and Journalists Agree on Tasks of Journalism: Study "What Journalists Ought to Do and What They Want to Do" Published

Hamburg, 03 June 2020. Reporting objectively, analysing and classifying events. These are the most important tasks of journalism, which both journalists and their audience in Germany agree on. However, tolerance and cultural diversity within society must also be promoted. It is also particularly important to the public that journalists make their sources transparent and why they have chosen a particular topic.

These are the findings of the study "What Journalists Ought to Do and What They Want to Do", which has been published today in Hamburg. The study examined the expectations of the German population regarding journalism and compared them with the expectations journalists have of themselves. The result: there is a great deal of agreement between the two parties about what journalism should achieve.
The findings of the Leibniz Institute for Media Research show that what German journalists want to do most is also what they should do in the eyes of the German population. "This includes first and foremost the classic journalistic tasks of objective reporting as well as analysis and classification. The promotion of tolerance and cultural diversity is also considered a particularly important journalistic task on both sides," says
Prof. Dr. Wiebke Loosen, Senior Researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI).

"Overall, however, it is also apparent that the population attaches more importance to tasks that stand for a rather controlling, political-activist journalism than most journalists consider them part of their daily work. In the eyes of the population, questions of transparency and constructive, solution-oriented journalism are also particularly important," Loosen continued.
Interest in news and media use have a decisive influence on how important citizens consider journalistic tasks to be. Interest in hard news and the use of journalistic online media have a positive influence on how important traditional journalistic tasks are considered.
In a representative CATI survey (n= 1,000), the authors determined which journalistic tasks German citizens consider important and compared these findings with the representative data on how German journalists see their role in the Worlds of Journalism study (Steindl et al. 2017). The representative population survey by the market research institute IPSOS was funded by the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius.

Findings in the BredowCast

Johanna Sebauer spoke with two of the authors, Prof. Dr. Wiebke Loosen and Dr. Sascha Hölig. The podcast on the findings of the study can be found here.

Studie Available for Download:

Loosen, W.; Reimer, J.; Hölig, S. (2020): Was Journalisten sollen und wollen: (In-)Kongruenzen zwischen journalistischem Rollenselbstverständnis und Publikumserwartung [What Journalists Ought to Do and What They Want to Do: (In-)Congruencies between Self-Perception of Journalistic Roles and Audience Expectations]. Hamburg: Verlag Hans-Bredow-Institut (Arbeitspapiere des Hans-Bredow-Instituts | Projektergebnisse No. 49), ISBN 978-3-87296-159-4.


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