Journalists: Once Valued, Now Vilified

Date

2021-05

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Abstract

This study utilizes Cultivation Theory, the Need for Cognition Scale (NFC), and the Media Trust Scale, to understand the general public’s perception of journalists. It also attempts to gain insight on why there seems to be an increase in hostility towards journalists. Two surveys were conducted, one with the general public and one specifically for news industry employees. The survey for the general public yielded 195 participants while the second survey analyzed responses from 55 journalists. Major findings include: 1) the general public participants who scored higher on the NFC scale were more likely to have a negative perception of journalists, and 2) those who work in the news industry experience harassment, sexual harassment, and violence at an equal rate despite the number of years spent in the industry. This study was conducted by a journalist who has worked in the news industry for 10 years.

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Keywords

Cultivation Theory, Journalists, Reporters, Media Trust Scale, Need For Cognition Scale

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