Half Of Romanian Journalists Consider Media Outlet Owners Influence Editorial Content - Survey

About half of Romanian journalists (50.8%) and almost as many Romanian Public Relations professionals (44%) believe editorial content is generally influenced by media outlet owners, said a survey on transparency in PR-media-public relations.

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Half Of Romanian Journalists Consider Media Outlet Owners Influence Editorial Content - Survey

The survey was conducted by the U.S. Institute for Public Relations and the Forum for International Communications and was published on pr-romania.ro. Data were collected online between February 2009 and February 2010 by de the Forum for International Communications, based on the methodology of the U.S. Institute for Public Relations. The survey polled 128 PR professionals and 68 journalists.

According to the survey, 35.4% of journalists and 30% of PR practitioners said editorial contents are influenced by advertisers. Half of the polled journalists and 44% of PR professionals said media outlet owners generally influence editorial content.

Asked to make a list of the entities that have the biggest influence on Romanian mass media, PR specialists mentioned advertisers, media outlet owners, publicity contracts, media buying firms, lifestyle media sales departments, journalists' own interests and political identity, especially at a local level. Journalists shortlisted media outlet owners, political parties, profit race, mass media financers, certain businessmen, editors' self-sufficiency, media employers.

The survey reveals that unmarked publicity is widespread in Romania. About 26% of PR professionals and 15.4% of journalists consider that unmarked advertising is a generalized fact.

About 32% of PR practitioners and only 16.9% of journalists said unmarked advertising appears in national press, and 37.6% of PR practitioners and 16.9 % of journalists consider unmarked advertising is widely spread in magazines. One in three PR practitioners and 18.5% of journalists said unmarked advertising is frequent on websites.

Regarding indirect payments (non-cash benefits) received by journalists from organizations/companies, over 50% of respondents said these benefits are not mentioned in stories and articles.

About 66.7% of PR practitioners confirmed there are no written regulations regarding the value of the presents journalists may receive.

According to the survey, PR professionals often pay journalists or editors to publish positive information about companies. For some local media outlets, the procedure has become so natural that they don't even realize it is immoral.

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