Meedia eneseregulatsiooni süsteemi efektiivsuse analüüs Pressinõukogu kirjavahetuse näitel



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Tartu Ülikool



This bachelor’s thesis is titled “Analysis of efficiency of media’s self-regulation system using the example of correspondence of Estonian Press Council” and studies the correspondence between representatives of media outlets and the Estonian Press Council. The major aim of the thesis has been to analyse the argumentation of the correspondence and to ascertain whose position predominated in the explanations of the media outlet to the Press Council. The thesis targets to identify to which extent does media’s self- regulation protect individuals and what is the personal responsibility of journalists in this self-regulation. The analysed empirical material was the correspondence related to ten complaints which were submitted to the Press Council in 2005. Upon each complaint, three texts were studied – the complaint submitted by the complainant, the reply to it provided by the representative of the media outlet, and the decision of the Press Council. Under each case the author lists the basic statements and arguments of both the complainant and the representative of the media outlet, and identifies whether the Press Council has proceeded from the position of the complainant or the media outlet when making its decision. The methodology used in this thesis was argumentation analysis by the methodology of the French speech researcher Mathhieu Quignard, and critical discourse analysis where the author primarily followed the theory of Norman Fairclough, the British social scientist. In addition to the above the author conducted interviews with chief editors of four Estonian dailies in order to ascertain what is the usual procedure within the editorial staff for compiling a reply to the Press Council, whose arguments generally prevail and how do the chief editors evaluate the work efficiency of the Press Council. The author of this bachelor’s thesis concludes that although the function of the Press Council is to offer to the complainant a fast extrajudicial decision, this is not always achieved. In the cases analysed in the thesis, the first reason for that was the lack of dialogue between the representative of the media outlet and the complainant. This was primarily due to the representative of the media outlet who shifted the focus of the conflict away from the complainant’s main argument – either to another discourse or to another aspect of the same discourse, or ignored the main argument of the complainant altogether. In all cases covered in this study the media outlet denied its fault and the chief editor in his/her reply often proceeded from the assumption that the conduct of the journalist and editor had been accurate. Another drawback in the work of the Press Council was the fact that their decisions were mostly based on the statement of the media organisation and often neglected the main argument of the complainant which had been the reason for filing the complaint. The interviews with the chief editors enable to conclude that although the role of a journalist’s personal responsibility has been considered a major factor in media’s self- regulation system, in reality it remains to be a minor determinant within the editorial staff of Estonian major dailies. The only exception was the economic daily Äripäev whose chief editor specifically pointed out the personal responsibility of a journalist. It also appeared from the interviews that the main function of chief editors is to supplement the response to the complaint with tactical aspects. It can thus be concluded that the response generally follows the interests of the media outlet, and according to the text analysis chief editors often apply power discourse. In conclusion - media’s self-regulation system does not ensure the protection of individuals. According to the example of the Press Council, the basic disadvantages of the system are: the lack of dialogue between the complainant and the representative of the media outlet, failure from both the media outlet and the Press Council to take into account the position of the complainant when providing a response, and the minor personal role of a journalist in answering to the Press Council.


H Social Sciences (General), bakalaureusetööd, meedia, regulatsioon, iseregulatsioon