|Revista Latina de Comunicación Social|
Reviewers’ Reports - 2009
The reference article, which is extremely important and timely, is based on the realisation of 30 in-depth interviews and 410 questionnaires of news journalists, in which the question of whether or not they are in favour of “harassment of politicians currently in office” is explored. This initial proposition is split into two parts between “politicians currently in office” and other types of “famous people”, among which are “famous people who sell exclusives”. In between there is a spectrum for privileged institutional representation, namely of members of the royal family and their relatives.
This differentiation in the point of departure, in my opinion, mars the study’s quality and relevance, given that it is one thing, on the one hand, the distinction between pursuing the truth or pursuing the famous persons, and on the other hand, harass the politicians asking about his private life or his public responsibilities. Confusing these two areas of work is something which contributes to the “disturbing” panorama described by Pérez Ariza, Ordaz and other scholars.
The other pertinent but ignored distinction is that which ought to be drawn between “the media professionals” and the owners of the media, who impose their objectives and political views, regardless of whether they violate the principles proclaimed in the documents of self-regulation cited in exhaustive fashion in the study. This fundamental aspect of the problem appears to be referred to in the single line of the text which talks of “it is necessary to bear in mind the severe pressures to which the professionals working in this sector are subject.”
Todo lo cual importa, no sólo por el tema, sino por la envergadura del trabajo, que se inscribe en el marco de un proyecto nacional de investigación titulado “Ethics and excellence in news journalism.
ournalistic ethics from the point of view of the public’s expectations in Madrid” led by the Carlos III University and with parallel contributions from three other universities.
The work’s methodology is rigorous, described for each one of the phases, and includes at certain junctures the values of the chi square, which measures, according to Pearson, the quality of the adjustment made between the observed and the theoretical distribution. This is exemplary.
However, from the beginning the distinction should have been drawn between the conventional press and the gossip/celebrity press, between the pursuit of the truth – “What happened to the money in the Gescartera affair?”– and the world of celebrities – “Who is Cayetano [the Duchess of Alba’s son] seeing?” – and even the ethical dilemma of harassing a celebrity who does not sell an exclusive and another who does, in which latter case it would be more appropriate to speak of negotiation rather than harassment.– Dr. Antonio Cascales - Faculty of Communication – University of Seville.
Media harassment to the famous people of public figures from the ethical perspective of journalists in Madrid
1. General comments. The article shows the results of the research undertaken in the Madrid autonomous region regarding the convergence between journalistic standards and the ethics of professions working in the gossip and celebrity area.
The work is part of a larger study undertaken at the same time by the universities of Pompeu Fabra (acting as coordinator), País Vasco (Basque Country) and Seville. Such a topical issue and one which can sound frivolous receives a serious and justified analysis of the ethical repercussions for the profession and the role played by those whose work involves pursuing personalities who have acquired a certain notoriety in the media.
Two of the most striking conclusions are that the largest media companies are the ones who most hound these kinds of figures, and that politicians are the quarry most attractive to younger journalists.
2. Structure: The article’s structure is entirely that of an academic article: introduction, methodology, results and conclusions.
3. Methodological aspects. The methodology is explained in full. The author makes use of both quantitative and qualitative tools in the form of: content analysis, online survey of 410 media professionals and in-depth interviews of 30 journalists. Justification is given of the selection of the corpus and the structure of the measurement tools, with the result that this is an important sample and one using a group of methods that give reliability to the conclusions. The selection of the graphs is well made, taking into account the scope of the fieldwork.
4. Opinion: I recommend the publication of this article.– Dr. Patricia Castellanos Pineda - Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, UAB.
This article places us in the context of the field of journalistic ethics, which is so topical at the moment, and which addresses a necessary and exhaustive debate. The origin of the controversy in the figure of the paparazzo is helpfully explained by the author.
Starting with a figure who practices the journalistic profession by means of an ever increasingly prying attitude, introduces us to the routine of media professionals. From the point onwards, the article proposes to find out the differences between this daily routine and the patterns that determine the right to privacy. Finally, the position of these professionals is established in accordance with diverse variables such as the company which the journalist works for, the type of person pursued, etc.
Although this breakdown is adequate, there is an initial handicap, which is the lack of precision regarding the approach to two questions: not all journalists are the same and investigating the truth is not identical with investigating someone’s private life.
The text’s suitability is justified by an extensive consideration of the state of the questions, to which is added the use of a detailed and well-chosen methodology which translates into a comparative study of documents of ethical self-regulation faced with the views of the journalists. In-depth interviews of 30 renowned professional and 410 surveys of other media professionals will be reflected in the qualitative and quantitative results in an effective manner. – Dra. Nekane Parejo - Universisity of Málaga.