Ajakirjanduse kvaliteedi kriteeriumid maakonnalehes Pärnu Postimehe näitel



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The present paper attempts at analysing whether it is possible to produce quality journalism in the conditions where such resources as personnel, time, motivation, sources and the interest of the community are lacking. It also aims to expose the compromise between the financial concerns of the media enterprise, the concerns of the community and the considerations or possibilities of the journalists. The current work concentrates in particular on the authority-controlling branch of quality journalism which is also known by the term watchdog, and on the social, community- orientated branch (called public journalism), which began in the beginning of the 1990ies and is contrasted, by the term good neighbour, to the notion of watchdog. In order to answer the presented questions, the theoretical chapter of the paper first defines and introduces the concept of public journalism and how it could and should be used in the best interest of the community. Then, to get an overview of how, in the case of Pärnu Postimees, the available resources are used and what - considering the current conditions - is the product, the current work presents a qualitative and quantitative analysis, based on the concepts brought out in the theoretical chapter, of the structure and work of the editorial board as well as its relationship with the community. The topics reflected in Pärnu Postimees and the frequency of writing on them is also measured in the present paper. With the intention of assessing the community’s influence on the paper, it is also observed how many and which sources are used when writing about the mentioned topics: whether the sources are officials, specialists, common citizens, politicians or written sources. Interviews throw light on the journalists´ working methods, for instance those of looking for information, employing sources and communicating with the community. The case analysis is presented with the purpose of providing concrete examples of both the successful and the failed applications of public journalism. As a result of the current research it became clear that the structure, the personnel and the other internal resources of Pärnu Postimees enable the paper to produce quality journalism, either the watchdog type of investigative journalism or the socially concerned good neighbour style of writing. Nevertheless, the community is still too small to generate the watchdog type of investigative journalism. Therefore, more attention should be paid to creating the good neighbourhood journalism. This, however, is done so in Pärnu Postimees, as the analysis of its contents demonstrated. In case of Pärnu Postimees, the following factors work in favour of producing quality journalism - experienced journalists, close connections with sources, large financial resources and the small community. The negative factors, however, are the journalists´ enormous load of work, conflicts of interest, economic pressure and their monotonous approach to the topics. As the present paper demonstrates, the positive and negative factors are balancing each other. Thus, all in all, the quality of Pärnu Postimees first and foremost depends on the personal characteristics, professional mastery, motivation and ethical conviction of each journalist.


H Social Sciences (General)