Conceiving the transparency of journalism: Moving towards a new media accountability currency

H.P. Groenhart, J.L.H. Bardoel


This article explores the professional logic behind transparency based on in-depth interviews (N = 45) with journalistic professionals. Qualitative analysis from a functional angle – how does transparency affect the work of a journalist? – describes three different types of transparency and confines functional levels for both transparency and opacity. Besides normative and commercial logic we identify an operational logic of the professional journalist as an alternative currency of media accountability. This operational logic is suggested as a more optimistic view for studies on the role of transparency and media accountability.


Transparency; Media accountability; Online journalism; Professionalism


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Copyright (c) 2012 Swiss Association of Communication and Media Research and Università della Svizzera italiana. Published by Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896