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  • Author: Kari Koljonen x
  • Mass Communication x
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Abstract

By reading qualitative studies, surveys, organisational histories, and textbooks, one can claim that the ethos of journalists has undergone fundamental changes in recent decades. The “high modern” journalistic ethos of the 1970s and 1980s was committed to the core values of the journalistic profession: objectivity, public service, consensus maintenance, gate-keeping, and recording of the recent past. After the millennium, these central ideals have become more ambivalent and “liquid”: subjectivity, consumer service, the watchdog role, agenda-setting, and forecasting the future seem to be more tempting alternatives than before. This article develops an analytic framework that elaborates the simple narrative from “high modern” to “liquid modern” journalism. Five key elements, namely, (1) knowledge, (2) audience, (3) power, (4) time, and (5) ethics, are discussed and problematized to suggest a more nuanced view of the changing professional ethos of journalism.