Public nuisance or an asset to democracy? Does the free press aim to provide a public service? An empirical study examining journalistic functions within the normative framework of the European Union

  • Marie-Isabell Lohmann Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Comparative Media and Communication Studies
  • Andreas Riedl Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Comparative Media and Communication Studies*
Keywords: Free dailies, journalistic functions, Worlds of Journalism Study WJS, European Union

Abstract

Utilizing an empirical approach, this paper lays out how journalistic functions differ from the perception of journalists working for the free and paid press in Austria. Analyses indicate that free press journalists appear to be significantly more inclined to generate discourse with their audience, but are also more influenced by commercialization than their colleagues working for the paid press. Both the free and paid press seem to fulfill diverging democratic functions that can be valuable to the public. Finally, the normative notion of journalistic functions as legislated by the European Union (EU) seems only partially represented within the journalists’ self-perception.

Published
2019-05-20
How to Cite
Lohmann, M.-I., & Riedl, A. (2019). Public nuisance or an asset to democracy? Does the free press aim to provide a public service? An empirical study examining journalistic functions within the normative framework of the European Union. Studies in Communication Sciences, (2). https://doi.org/10.24434/j.scoms.2018.02.002
Section
General Section