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Lithuania – (C4) Journalism professionalism

Score in short:

Professionalism values vary across different media, and this is associated with transformations taking place in the media field, such as economic (media crisis and budget cuts) and technological (media convergence and new demands on journalists) changes.

Score in detail:

Generally, in most of the media, journalists are well educated and, assessed from a theoretical point of view, their professionalism is relatively high (journalists often confirm that the value of objectivity is among the most important requirements for quality journalism). In the present study, respondents have also mentioned a number of particular drawbacks that have emerged in the media field in recent years and have affected professionalism standards. These are due to the emergence of new forms and formats in the media field, such as blurring boundaries between journalism and non-journalism, between previously distinct operations of media as business, professional journalism, public relations and media ownership. Today the media field is a mixture of hybrid discourses, when journalism often also takes over strategies and techniques and mimics practices previously applied in other fields. Signaling changes in the media, this practice also confirms the growing power and professionalization of public relations, especially in the political field.

According to respondents, general journalism professionalism and quality standards do not differ a great deal across different media types, however it is evident that technological convergence has affected how the news is reported in newspapers and television. In general, all media professionals are talking about fundamental shifts in profession, and these are associated with time pressures, as well as changes in working conditions (job cuts in mass media, increasing competition, demands to be multiskilled and professionalized in multi-modal communication formats). If journalists were previously required to produce news items that are important as well as interesting, today they are required to also think about new forms and formats of reporting.