Mission vs. Money: Professional Values and Attitudes of Public and Commercial Media Journalists in the United States

Stan Jastrzebski, Lars Willnat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study compares the demographics, professional values, and attitudes of public and commercial journalists in the United States. Based on survey interviews with representative samples of 394 public broadcasting journalists and 1,491 commercial journalists, the study finds significant differences in demographics, attitudes, and role perceptions between the two groups. Public media journalists, who tend to be younger, more politically left-leaning, more racially diverse, and work in more gender-balanced newsrooms than their commercial colleagues, appear more mission-driven and prefer to tell complex, interpretive stories to help the public take action. By contrast, commercial journalists prize publishing quickly to the broadest possible audience while showing less interest in influencing public affairs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournalism Practice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Keywords

  • NPR
  • PBS
  • Public broadcasting
  • comparative
  • journalism
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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