The ethic of ‘free advertising’ and the Fourth Estate
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As public relations practitioners increasingly use new technologies to advance their agenda, could journalistic ethics and the role of the journalist in society become compromised? This paper explores the use of internet technology – in particular the emailing of media releases – by public relations practitioners, examining the gains for both public relations practitioner and journalist. This paper highlights increasing pressures faced by journalists that may allow public relations practitioners to achieve more than merely free advertising. Where do journalistic ethics come into play? This practice could not only challenge the media’s role as the Fourth Estate it could also allow public relations practitioners to become pseudo journalists and perhaps allow the news agenda to be set by public relations practitioners and those they represent.
Australian Studies in Journalism
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Communication and Media Studies