Latvia

Different journalistic cultures and different accountability within one media system

Authored by: Ainars Dimants

The European Handbook of Media Accountability

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781472457660
eBook ISBN: 9781315616353
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315616353.ch18

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Abstract

At present, three different journalistic cultures compete for domination within the Latvian media system. The state of media accountability is different in each of these cultures. First, there is the traditional Russian journalistic culture, which is characteristic of the minority of the Latvian media, i.e. the part of the media that is produced for the Russian-language minority. Second, from the point of view of an economic theory of journalism, the instrumental and authoritarian (post-Soviet) journalistic culture can be seen. Third, a modern (Western) journalistic culture, orientated towards high journalistic professional standards, editorial autonomy from the publisher and owner and practising Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), is emerging. The professional associations are divided along the lines of the corresponding journalistic cultures. Professional education, media criticism and quality management within editorial staff seem to be measures for broader, nationwide impact. Well-managed public-service media organizations need to be role models in this respect.

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