Date Approved

5-6-2002

Embargo Period

5-18-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Public Relations

Department

Public Relations & Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

Bagin, Donald

Subject(s)

Public relations personnel; Journalists

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

This thesis studies the relationship between public relations practitioners and journalists; how they perceive one another, what defines the relationship and what they would do differently if they were in the opposite field.

The author surveyed journalists and public relations practitioners to determine what kinds of attitudes help shape and define the relationship between these two very important professions.

Both public relations practitioners and journalists believe they are equal partners in the dissemination of information. Only 34.6 percent of public relations practitioners believe journalists have high morals and ethics, and are honest with public relations practitioners. Over 50 percent of journalists do not think public relations practitioners have high ethics and morals, and they do not believe public relations practitioners are honest with them.

The majority of public relations practitioners do believe journalists are credible. Journalists believe public relations practitioners understand the problems journalists encounter such as meeting deadlines, space limitations and the need to make a story look more attractive for readers.

More than 26 percent of public relations practitioners do not believe they can trust journalists. More than 45 percent of journalists do not believe they can trust public relations practitioners. Nearly 75 percent of public relations practitioners believe that journalists rely very heavily on them to disseminate information to the targeted publics. More than 95 percent of journalists believe public relations practitioners need to obtain confidence from journalists as credible sources of information in order to do their job.

More than 80 percent of public relations practitioners do believe that journalists' goals are to uncover facts for accurate news stories. Nearly 55 percent of journalists do not believe public relations practitioners are key in opening the lines of communication between the media and the public. Nearly 65 percent of public relations practitioners do believe they are key in opening the lines of communication between the media and the public.

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