Accountability in the newsroom: Reaching out to the public or a form of window dressing?

Yael de Haan, Jo Bardoel


Pressure from politics and the public has created a greater demand for the media to be more accountable. Moreover, growing structural changes in the media landscape – including media concentration, commercialization, fiercer competition, an increasingly fragmented public, and the advent of new media – have also challenged how media should be accountable and responsive. This article looks at how Dutch broadcast media are responding to increasing pressure in terms of accountability and responsiveness through a case-study research from two leading broadcast news organizations. The need for more openness to and connection with the public is acknowledged, and among many journalists this is now even considered a necessity. However, when it comes to routinized daily application, there is a general resistance as it does not live within their professional autonomy and authority. New online instruments have created opportunities with more platforms and possibilities for the public to participate. However, at this point the online instruments put new constraints on the social system of organization with unforeseen activities and costs.


Accountability; Responsiveness; Newsroom studies


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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