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When saying means not doing: journalists fight for imposing their power on media and politics

Mihai Coman PhD College of Journalism and Media Studies University of Bucurest, Romania mcoman53@yahoo.rcom

On December 22, 1989, when ended the 42-year-long Communist dictatorship, the editorial staff of Scinteia Poporului (the Communist Party newspaper) solemnly promised that the newspaper will be dedicated to the whole truth, to the truth that, with bitterness and not infrequently, and with inner indignation, we could not tell [before the fall of Communism]. Despite significant progress since those promise-filled winter days of 1989, different (systemic?) impediments have stymied the development of the hoped for mass media, of professional journalists and journalism. Whereas their transition away from the Communist system was almost instantaneous, the now more than 20-year-old struggle to transform the mass media into an institution worthy of a mature democracy has been partially successful to date. Theoretical frames and case studies on media and transition Scholars who studied the recent history of post-communist countries emphasize the lack of an adequate theoretical frame, both for the general sociopolitical process of "democratization" and "capitalization" and for media "transition". On the other side, even if some similarities existed with the political changes in Spain, Greece, Africa and Latin America, these processes were not analogous to those of the Communist Eastern Europe, nor were the socio-political, historical, and cultural contexts. Media scholars were relegated to testing theories that were outlined through observation of Western media; also they borrowed from other disciplines, specifically economics, political science, and sociology in order to design the conceptual tools for analyzing media evolution in democratizing societies, who had to rebuild civil society, relationships and trust between institutions and citizens, including between media and society, journalists and their audiences.

The rich bibliography devoted to media transition in post-totalitarian countries is based on two main interconnected paradigms: 1) a normative imitative perspective (transition means the implementation of Western media systems, from constitutional provisions to programing strategies) and 2) a functionalist macro-scale model (transitional societies were conceived as systems reaching a general equilibrum). These theoretical frameworks came hand in hand with a developmental body of programs, designed to implement a democratic media. Franois Bafoil summarizes the many debates on this issue, identifying several ways to classify the transition from communism to a new society: We can distinguish between an escape because of the intelectual output, such in the case of Romania and Bulgaria and one that is subject to negotiation between the various elites, according to some specific models. We are talking about a chartered transition in order to indicate that power is engaging itself to the process of transformation and a co-managed transition only when various elites are participating in the transformation. To all these it is added the compulsory transition, when the contested power imposes its views. Karl and Schmitter, based on an analysis of strategies and combinations of elites and masses, by force or by compromise, distinguish four types of transitions, we can reach development either by negociated pact, through a compulsory transition, by reform or by revolution. Stark and Bruszt identify another four models of transition: decomposition (Poland), capitulation (Czech Republic), colonization (GDR) and free electoral competition, as in the case of Hungary, and with some limits as in the case of Bulgaria and Romania."(1999:10). Von Beyme determines by combining forces (bottom or top) and directions (ideology or pragmatism) other four models: the erosion of the communist system (Poland and Hungary), the liquidation of the communist system (Romania and Bulgaria), perestroika (Russia) and the collapse of the communist system - Czech Republic (1996:29). In turn, De Waele distinguishes between negotiated transition (Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria), transition by implosion (Czech Republic, GDR) and violent transition (1999:312). The typology and the analysis from these works, derived out of the political science paradigm or out of the economical paradigm, focus primarily on how to "go out" of communism - this process is considered as decisive to explain the direction, timing, structure, depth, and ideology that characterize transitions in post-communist countries. In essence what was happening in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe is a transition from one system to another system, a "dj vu one, namely from

communism to capitalism: all these countries were capitalist economies and capitalist democracies before the second world war. This means that, on the normative plan, this process does not lead to a new model of society, but it proposes to reconstruct a model already confirmed by their own history. Therefore the transformations in postcommunist countries have a mimetic character, on the one hand and a restorative character, on the other hand: they are simultaneously a re-construction (because these countries have experienced relatively long periods of capitalism) and an instauration (because the economic, political, social and cultural structures that are specific to the modern or post-modern capitalist world must be implemented) - and all the economic, social and political changes are arriving amid vehement denial of the communist "legacy". From here this ambivalent aspect, which is specific to both transition processes and transition discourses: they are oriented towards both the past and the future, both for the known and the unknown, both for valuation and demonization. In fact, as stated by the authors of a summary of the debates on the transition, transition is both evolutionary and path dependent, meaning that it relies both on institutionalized forms of learning and on the battles on the directions that appear at the intersection of old and new "(A. Smith, J. Pikles, 1998:13). Starting from the idea of the homogeneity in the communist world and, implicitly, of the unity of the process of transition from the communist press to the democratic press, K. Jakubowicz (1996:40-42) posits the operations and steps necessary to successfully realize this transformation: a) the liquidation of the control system by abolishing state and party monopoly over the press, the paper production, printing facilities, distribution, the national news agency and censorship. Finally, the abolition of state subsidies (with the exception of public service broadcasting); b) the creation of an appropriate legal framework through constitutional guaranties for freedom of speech and free access to information. New, fair laws concerning the press, intellectual property, media companies, telecommunications, as well as an anti-trust law specifically addressed to the media institution; c) the promotion of a democratic political life through regulations to limit the intervention of the political forces in the press, councils ensuring the functioning of these regulations and laws, creation of a fair system of access to the mass media for the representatives of civil society, and supporting the decentralization of the mass media;

d) the professionalization of the journalists through laws and regulations to ensure professional autonomy, codes of ethics, as well as a modality of enforcing them and bring responsibility to the profession, creating systems for civil society representatives to observe and monitor the press, developing journalism education, and training systems. The list of conditions for a successful transformation proposed by Jakubowicz is a normative one and is based on an ideal image of the democratic press. He deals with four levels (the legal, the economic, the professional, and the political), which should ensure an optimum transition from a controlled, propaganda-oriented press to one which is independent, responsible and oriented towards the civil society, by developing and interacting with each other. Few studies (and programs) were interested by the actors of transition, the real actors of change the journalists and the professional and cultural vision they had or made on their mission, profession, daily life. Post-communist journalists, whose ideology was formed in the excitement of the demise of communist institutions and of confrontations over the establishment and control of the new institutions, have the feeling that the free press is their exclusive creation and implicitly their inalienable property; consequently, they believe that only they have the right to control the profession. In these 20 years from the fall of communism, the journalism professional field became more and more sliced by press barons on one hand and the majority of common journalist, on the other hand. The euphoric attitude and the solidarity that marked the very beginnings moments of a free press slowly faded away. They were in the end replaced by the fights for getting and maintaining the control over the resources offered by mass media: economic status, political power and social prestige. In fact, one group has monopolized the economic resources, the access to centres of political decision and the channels of distribution of the professionally legitimating discourse.

From the communist press to the democratic media From the moment the Romania Communist Party established itself in power and the Peoples Republic of Romania came into being in December 1947, journalists become functionaries or bureaucrats of truth, according to Paul Lendvasi (1981) felicitous formula. In all European Communist countries, media, together with the entire cultural establishment, had two main functions: (1) to propagate Marxist-

Leninist ideology in order to mobilize masses to follow the leading parties, and (2) to eliminate any undesirable ideas and information (Gross, 1996). The absolute control exercised by the communist parties over the communist media had features that were shared across the East European Communist landscape, as summarized by Karol Jakubowicz (2006): state monopoly of the media (or a ban on opposition media); financial control; administrative control (of appointments, defining media goals, allocation of frequencies and newsprint, monopoly of press distribution; prepublication political censorship (leading to self-censorship); laws banning critical ("subversive", "seditious") journalism; barriers to international information flows (jamming of foreign radio stations, bans on imports and distribution of foreign newspapers, periodicals and books, etc. On the other side, the control of the communist parties over the media was exercised through various instances such as: centralized censorship and news-management; political and managerial control over the press agencies and the newsrooms; fabrication of official information and the obligation to publish and comment it; direct dependence of journalists upon the party (Coman, 2003) After the fall of communism, the media landscape in these countries has been decentralized: during this period the local publications, radios and televisions and those specialized had developed and won more and more audiences. Printed press, but especially audiovisual, constituted a privileged area for foreign investors, which lead to improvements of the technical presentation and quality of the information, making them more attractive. On the other hand it must be mentioned that the audiovisual stations have very specialized characteristics: radio stations work by the formula music - news - talk-show and the TV stations are organized by the generalist formula. The specialized programs are broadcaster by the Western stations (like CNN, EuroNews, Eurosport, MCM, VOX, Cartoon Network, Discovery, Animal Planet, TNT, HBO, etc) and by national ones (in Romania: DGS1, 2 and 3, for sports, Etno, KISS, Taraf etc for music, Antena 3 and Realitatea for news, Trinitas as a religious channel etc) which have already filled this area. Even if the state has lost its control over the written press and the most significant part of the audiovisual, it kept it over the public radio and TV stations, press agencies (although in countries like the Czech Republic, Romania or Russia there have appeared active and successful press agencies) and the distribution system of the written press. In some countries the

councils which grant the licences in audiovisual are also under governers control and not under the parliament. The state interfered indirectly via: (a) economic pressures: increasing the prices for the raw material, transportation, energy, by not cutting the VAT or not giving other facilities; or, in a positive way, according subsidies only to a group of media, favorable to its actions; (b) political pressures (see examples in Kettle 1997: 53-6; Milton 1997:19-21; Sparks, Reading 1998:157-162); (c) judiciary pression (in Romania president Iliescu sued the journalist from Ziua newspaper for having harmed his image, in Poland the former Prime Minister Jan Bieleki sued several newspapers for defamation, in Russia the trial against the media mogul Boris Berezovski became a famous example). However the states interference is not the main problem that the postcommunist press is faced with, but the acute partisanship that dominates the media. In the happy formula of Globan-Klas: The press [...] become pluralistic, but not independent. The reasons for this phenomenon are linked to the inherent social tensions and transformations. In this turmoiled environment, the political class which is really obsessed with getting the power and then keeping it considers media to be not a major, but the main instrument for politics. Their vision of the media is onedimensional, over-politicized and simplified, believing in a missionary role for journalists and an ideologized press" (Goban-Klas 1997:37; see also Androunas 1993; Gross 1999; Hiebert, 1999; Jakubowicz 2006; Korkonossenko 1997; Splichal 1994;). Besides, the journalists and the owners also have not resisted this kind of pressures (and temptations) and they let themselves be dragged, or they frenetically jumped, into this process of transformation of mass media into a mouthpiece of various political parties, fractions, groups and voices of the political class. Aumente, et al. (1999), factoring in some of this fluidity and unpredictability of media in transition, noted that the first post-Communist years were characterized by a mixed media system with libertarian and authoritarian features, with dissident, partisan, commercial and international contents; a media whose ownership ranged from small and large businesses, private, state, and political party ownership, some functioning well in a free-market system, others needing subsidies. Another specific post-1989 phenomenon is the de-politicization of the press, or more correctly, the replacement of the political information and debates with the cheap scandal and entertainment. Eastern European countries have seen yellow

journalism succeed, changing the style of journalism, by imposing the predominance of sensational news; by this, they creating a new way of understanding reality in sensationalism code. Titles as 24 Chasa (Bulgaria), Blesk (Czech Republic), Blickk (Hungary), Nie ( Poland), Evenimentul Zilei (Romania), Novy Cas (Slovakia),

Kievskie vedomosti (Ukraine) has not remained isolated. They produced a real tide of tabloids, and, in the same time, they forced the others daily newspapers, even TV and radio stations to redirect their priorities towards this aspect of life and this style of press. Obviously this reduced the ideational tensions of the political debates, to the perception of the political phenomenon as personal conflicts or dramatic accidents and the loss of political prestige- as a factor of social change and progress. Ultimately, a possible public sphere, based on arguments and reason, has been replaced with another area, dominated by the dramatic gestures and emotionally-laden messages. In these conditions press messages, partisan or marked by the rush after sensational news, had a low effect and did not perform the same mobilization that they had in the period of social movements generated by the fall of communism. "Openness created cacophony and the expansion of press diversity also created the means by which old hatreds could be publicly expressed. Real news often gave way to sensationalism, yellow journalism and tabloid coverage [...] Foreign capital, in many countries, came to dominate the most important media assets, raising questions about information monopolies and external control over again. At the governmental level as well the new democrats were often less than thrilled with an open press. State run television and radio have in many cases developed as mouthpiece of the new regimes [...] Between market and state, the media continue to run the risk that the power over information will be re consolidated into the hands of a few, a re-tatisation to the detriment of civil society" (O'Neil 1997:2). The mass media in the post-communist countries experienced not only a forceful entry of foreign capital, but, even more importantly, an invasion of Western audiovisual programs. An analysis of the structure of the programs in Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Lithuania, Romania, Russia and Slovakia in 1995 (Coman, 1996b) showed that these programs represented over 40% of the broadcast fare. Dominant are movies, series, music and documentaries. What should be factored in, are programs in indigenous languages to the region that are copies of Western's conceptualized programs. The foreign groups apply various strategies to conquer these markets, from promotional sales, to offering package deals or barter deals (De Bryker 1996: 124).

In general, the structure of the media ownership in these countries is very diversified. In the written press one can find independent publications as well as publications owned by the state, by parties, or by church. The independent ones may be controlled by joint ventures (with local and foreign capital), by local groups, by associative structures, or by cultural, educational or civic organizations, etc. In the audiovisual, things seem more streamlined, public service broadcasting being clearly separated from the commercial broadcasting. There are no signs yet of significant monopolies; but the large trusts are increasing their media holdings, evidenced by the diminishing number of independent publications and stations (Preoteasa, Manuela 2004). The inability of the local mass media groups to develop solely on the basis of the capital invested in the press and the revenues brought by the media market, produce the association or the merger with foreign groups, or their integration in corporations with different domains of activity. If in the first case one can evoke the risk of subordinating the local press institutions to foreign interests and, consequently, subordinating their voice to external problems, interests and ideologies. In the second case, it is obvious that the press is subordinated to political-economic interests (other than those of the civil society), which leads to the weakening and even losing its status as an independent power, to the disappearance of the control (watchdog) function, and to the cancelling of the civic responsibilities of the journalists. It is possible that the majority of post-communist media fit between the Mediterranean or Polarized Pluralist Model and the North Atlantic or Liberal Model, because its main characteristics are (Hallin and Mancini, 2004): Vast number of titles in the market; tabloid press; concentration around several

strong groups, but also fragmentation (due to the increasing number of titles on the market), The period of parallelism dominated the 1990s and has mutated in the twenty-

first century. A history of strong party newspapers (before and during Communism) and other media connected to organized social groups, Professionalization is not well developed; journalists autonomy is often

limited but there are explicit conflicts over it; power and authority in news media are openly contested, The state plays a role as an owner and regulator through the National

Audiovisual Council of Romania,

There is a moderate degree of external pluralism, and commentary-oriented

journalism persists.

The profession The birth of numerous new publications and stations brought about a rapid and uncontrolled increase in the number of those who work in this field. This does not necessarily mean that the number of the professional journalists increased, but only the number of those employed by enterprises which produce media goods increased. It was assumed this way that the newcomers, far more numerous than those with some experience in the communist press, would bring a new, non-ideologized approach, a greater social responsibility and more professionalism. In fact, as P. Gross shows, "while some progress has been made in professionalizing the field, to date the region's journalism is not of a caliber consonant with that of its Western neighbors. Their partisanship and inclination to propagandize and their lack of professional standards and ethics are leftover traits from the pre-communist era, refined and hardened by the communist experience, its exigencies and teachings" (1996:94). Those who work in the post-communist press form a highly heterogeneous socio-professional group. Although only a few sociological inquiries were dedicated to the corporate structure of the journalists in Eastern Europe, some general traits are identifiable: a) the group is numerically dominated by the young who joined the media after 1989. In most of the cases, they dont have a proper academic background. They imposed themselves through and as an antithesis to the old guard, which makes them promote: (a) an ideology of negation, (b) a sentiment of a necessary superiority, based on the idea that those who have not worked in the communist media were not touched by the communist ideology, (c) a certain professional self-sufficiency, based on the idea of a mission in the name of which they have chosen the press, a mission which does not require any critical self-evaluation, nor journalism readings, nor training courses. According to V. Pysarek, they are the Pampers generation confident, thinking they are better than anybody else, but totally ignorant professionally. (1998: 206) b) journalists see themselves as an elite of society, both because of their background (most of them have university degrees) and for the role they assume for themselves (see Coman, 2003; Hanitzsch, 2011; Pelissier 1995; Plenkovic, Kucis

1995). But their understanding of the role of the media is a confused one. Most of those who work in the press define themselves as representatives of the fourth estate. Yet they can hardly say what the role of this estate is. Usually, the adversary perspective is dominant, the journalists considering that their role is to oppose the Power (no matter the party or the group in power), to criticize it and to uncover its abuses: "A related lesson was the mistaken emphasis placed on defining the role of news media as a watchdog and as a Fourth Estate. The existing sociopolitical and (pre)professional culture misinterpreted such emphasis and definition to mean a news media that can best serve a transition by being partisan, an attack dog, a counter power. It became a double negative when the frustration of being unsuccessful as a counter power resulted in the news media generally degenerating into sensationalism, entertainment, superficiality, even banality" (P. Gross 1996: 161). c) the heterogeneous character of the group is also reflected in the dispersion of the professional organizations; in each of these countries there are at least two professional associations, frequently competing with each other and politically oriented. Thus, in Bulgaria there is The Journalists Union and the alternate union Podkrepa; in Hungary, The Hungarian Association of Journalists, The Community of Hungarian Journalists, and The Association of Hungarian Catholic Journalists; in Lithuania, The Lithuanian Journalists Union, and The Lithuanian Journalists Society; in Poland, The Association of the Polish Journalists, The Association of the Journalists from the Polish Republic, The Association of the Journalists from the Catholic Press; in Romania, The Society of the Journalists from Romania and The Romanian Journalists Association; in Slovakia, The Journalists Slovak Union and The Slovak Journalists Cooperative. d) the control over the professional field and the sanctioning of those who dont respect professional rules are carried out with great difficulty (see a state-of-theart of media self-regulation on www.mediact.de). Its relevant that in these countries several deontological codes were adopted, some belonging to professional associations, others to the big press outlets. The fact that there are no signs to show that these codes are strictly respected, or that those who dont follow them are sanctioned by the journalists community, correlated with the absence of a unitary deontological code, reflect the journalists incapacity to impose a professional culture, an assembly of common values and norms of behaviour. "All these practices go

beyond the notion that news and professionalism is culture specific. They reflect an absence of even most rudimentary outline of professional norms or, to put it differently, it is the absence of norms that give journalists 'carte blanche' to do as they please" (Gross 1999 a: 23). In these 20 years of post-communist press, the main concern for this group was transforming prestige capital in economic one. These evolutions confirm Eyal, Szelnyi i Townsley (2001) model: following Pierre Bourdieu (2000), they consider change and trajectory adjusting as the tool (and the explanation) for the social transformationss of post-comunist transition. During the communist era the most important social capital type was the political one. The individuals belonging to unique party system or to the ones cretead to sustain the party, can transform this capital in an economic one (through centralised and redistributive economy system see Verdery, 1996) or in an cultural one (through Party schools system see Gheorghiu, 2007). During the comunist period the cultural capital becomes the source of power, prestige or privileges, replacing the importance of the political capital. The professional/specialist status can be transformed in financial advantage or in a tool for promoting a political career. The journalists managers and stars - that got the control over the professional field benefit from an important symbolic capital: they present themselves as anticomunist revolutions heroes, freedom of expressions defenders, enemies of politicians, all problems specialists. Progressively, a part of the journalists oriented their efforts toward using the journalistic prestige for maximizing their economic profit. The lack of interest in raising professional standards is also reflected in low membership of professional or owners associations, the traditional bodies for debating ethics and self-regulation. Stiff competition has, presumably, hindered cooperation between the largest players and has prevented their identifying and fighting together for their common interests. Many journalists work without contracts, while those who have them are not protected by legal provisions such as the conscience clause (as explained above); Codes of Ethics are rarely assumed or enforced, and internal self-control bodies do not function. The conscience clause appeared in the working contracts only at three of the ten media outlets. Some management representatives interviewed had not even heard of this clause which is meant to protect journalists freedom of speech and editorial independence Under these conditions, those who work in the press find themselves in a situation characterized by ambivalence: they share a prestigious status, but also an

ingrate one; as representatives of the press they have a certain social prestige, but also are targets for pressures from the political field (the freedom of the press does not mean the freedom of the journalists Pisarek, 1998:210), and from the market economy forces (already they feel threatened by the spectrum of unemployment); the journalists enjoy a certain visibility, but also suffer from the lack of trust and ties of the audiences; they claim they have a "mission", but their claim (and performance) is stigmatized by their failures. "In the way newsrooms are managed and the obedience of journalists, publishers, directors and editors, the media and the journalists generally fail to serve as models of democratic beliefs and values. In fact journalism (a) contributes to suspicions about democracy; (b) often increases rather than decreases the intolerance for opposing parties, beliefs and preferences; (c) does not contribute to an atmosphere that increases willingness to compromise with political opponents or that enhances pragmatism and flexibility; (d) increases mistrust of the political environment and cooperation; (e) does nothing to encourage moderation in political position and partisan identification or civility in political discourse; and (f) contributes little to political efficiency and participation" (Gross 1999 a: 23).

Journalism education After the fall of the Communist regime in 1989, journalism training and education programs blossomed across these countries in response to the perceived new needs of the ever-growing number of media outlets, and to the allure of a profession that was for so long controlled by the ideological exigencies of the Communist regime. In fact, after law and economics, journalism was the fastest growing academic discipline in both private and public universities. The opening to the West and the eagerness of Western governments and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to aid the democratization process, brought a wealth of short-term journalism training programs who wished to work in the media. Western journalists and journalism educators flocked to Romania to offer courses in newsgathering, news writing, editing, management, advertising, public relations, media law and ethics. Young Romanians also had the opportunity to participate in journalism training programs organized in Western countries, particularly in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and the United States. The journalists who participated in these in-house classes conducted in conjunction with foreign media outlets were, in a sense, the lucky ones because they had the

opportunity for a structured training program, in some cases informed by the experiences in working within a democracy-supporting journalism that the Western journalist and trainers brought with them. Most Romanian journalists, however, particularly in the local media, were not so fortunate and had few if any opportunities for any structured journalism training and even less of an opportunity to be exposed to Western journalistic techniques and values. These short programs were a valuable contribution to the improvement of journalistic skills, but could not offer the full array of professional preparation necessary to create a competent journalist. In the private, commercial media, such training programs and workshops led by foreign trainers have been terminated; in public radio and television, indigenous veteran journalists run the few available training programs and workshops. In spite of the intense support from the West to develop journalism education and short term vocational training, most of the journalists received the knowledge necessary to do the job in the newsroom. Only time will tell whether the new graduates of these varied training and educational programs can alter the professional landscape. The faculty are just being formed (through scholarships, contacts with foreign teachers, readings, etc.) and they dont enjoy the same prestige as those from the established academic domains; (e) the representatives of the profession show indifference (when not antipathy) toward journalism education in these circumstances attracting journalists to work with the students and convince owners and editors that hiring a product of a journalism education program is beneficial to them are very difficult tasks. So "there is a sense that university and vocational journalism education will remain an integral part of the landscape of the new East/Central Europe and the new nations of the former Soviet Union. However, what these programs will teach, with what success, and what role they will play within academia, mass media, and society at large is an open question" (Gross 1999b:178) The problem of determining what is to be learned, how and through which tools is primarily defined by several necessary strategies: 1. Creating a body of professionalised faculties, open to the permanent evolution of journalism training in the modern world. 2. Opening university education to profession by attracting reputed journalists to train students, creating a stable system of internship, implementing platforms of dialogue (advisory councils, workshops,

on-line forums etc). 3. Producing textbooks and scholarly books on mass media and journalism topics, and related issues, adapted to the cultural environment and professional traditions; buying relevant foreign books, journals and access to databases. 4. Developing master and doctoral programs to train the future faculties. 5. Introducing scholarly journals in this field. 6. Implementing the quality assurance system: starting with the authorization process, in order to stabilize journalism education, by setting standards and defining the fundamental parameters in the discipline, by spelling out the minimal equipment necessary and the basic structure of the educational plan and going further with the benchmarking and the implementation of quality standards and indicators, in order to increase the accountability of journalism education system. The main task of all these strategies is reconciling what young, aspiring journalists learn in university journalism programs with what editors and directors demand from incoming journalists. In large measure, this problem evolves from the absence of a relationship between these journalism programs and the mass media, and a clear understanding by the mass media of the roles and function they are to fulfil in a democracy. And all of these have to be reconciled with the new challenges of democratising society and the new roles and functions of national media. The development of a good journalism education system will cover the gap created by the lack of contemporary or maybe positive historical role models, of a clear definition of journalisms and the journalists role in the new democracies, as well as the accompanying absence of universally agreed upon professional criteria by which to judge journalistic products. This will avoid one of the main threat of transition processes - placing the countrys young journalists in a perpetual ethical crisis.

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