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Tabloids and PR The tabloidisation of the media is another example of the skills merger between journalism and PR.

It is a merger which favours the media acquiring the features of markets. Peter Golding has characterised this in four dimensions !" more soft news# shorter stories and more pictures# change in mode of address$readers and writers are of the same status% a move awa& from the didactic to the diadic# market structure in which media are businesses% with the broadsheets tr&ing to increase market share. 'is research shows that in the periods !()* to !((*% word counts in Times stories have decreased but Mirror counts have increased# in the same period% entertainment stories +animals and celebrities, have increased in the tabloids from -. to !/.. The tabloid coverage of politics has increased from 0. to -. of content% and !1. of broadsheets are entertainment. This 0. to -. doubling suggests that one positive outcome of tabloidisation is that it makes politics more reader2friendl& and that more coverage is encouraged. 3 more negative outcome is that when the media see audiences as consumers% all topics% even politics% are treated in a personalit&2based% gossip&% unchallenging wa& in order to increase circulation. These developments are broadl& s&mpathetic to the genre colonisation of journalism b& PR. The& contribute to what 4anger +!((5, has named 6the lament7% a sense that the journalism necessar& for citi8ens to contribute effectivel& to a liberal democrac& is threatened b& the expansion of soft news% human interest stories% tabloid T9% 6insignificant7 and 6other7 news. This expansion is aided b& media managers seeing journalism as a commodit& creation activit& for the building of audiences more numerous than those attending to the competition. The insertion of PR attitudes and material into creating this 6other7 news is the colonisation of journalism b& PR. :oft news and PR are s&non&mous +but not exclusivel& so% for political PR deals with news concerning liberal democrac&,. :oft news is highl& promotional about itself and often announces its arrival b& a show& vanguard of presentational effects which strain for audience attention +see 'umphr&s !(((,. It is the news categor& into which most PR material falls% for 6soft7 is conventionall& taken to mean that which is positive and pleasing about personalities% policies% events and organisations. Indeed% PR published in the media from a traceable source has that 6soft7 qualit& in journalistic form% for PR cannot publicl& criticise its own source and is loathe to attack others for fear of retaliation. +Invisibl& sourced PR has different qualities., ;urther% the suppl& of soft news eases the process of marketisation of the media b& turning editorial attitudes awa& from costl& investigative% independentl& minded journalism which has to be created from small% uncertain beginnings. ;or media market2makers% whether managers or journalists% the point of a readership or audience is to make it grow. This is done through soothing% entertaining editorial% constantl& adjusted to attract the largest number of pa&ing individuals in that market segment. <arketeers call it choice. This is not the voice of a thunderer% of an independent thinker% of a principled dissenter% of a critic. <arketeers call that negative thinking.

This is not persuasion on behalf of an opinion which ma& cost the persuador a loss of self2interest this is persuasion on behalf of an opinion constructed to increase self2interest. <arkets have a d&namic of increased production% and media market2makers show that propensit& in more pages and more air time. The soft news generated b& PR is a cost2effective filler of space. It transfers the costs of its own production from the media market2maker to the PR source. It does not have to be sought out it is offered freel&$in superabundance% in binfuls. 3s consumer markets provide most PR and as the marginal media space is mostl& devoted to consumer goods% services% entertainment% fashion and lifest&le% both the demand and suppl& from media market2makers and PR providers tends to rise. =ournalists as market growers will assume that their reader2% listener2 % viewer2consumers want more and that the& should create more journalism in repl&. =ournalists as social observers will know that the& have to wait upon events. There is an allied process of celebrit& manufacture going on. >elebrit& news is news about people and is therefore another strand in PR2isation. It is not new% for it was noticeable at the time of the rise of the film industr& at the turn of the twentieth centur&% and there have alwa&s been press agents at work to fill the showbusiness columns of the tabloid press. >elebrit& manufacture% however% has increased and spread since the mid2!(51s and PR, journalism and the media !*( <ichie +!((5% pp. !"(?*!), has described it from the PR perspective. It has been resurrected in its contemporar& form largel& through the efforts of <ax >lifford.!) It is a staple component of tabloid% middle market and broadsheet newspapers in the @A% their use of it distinguished onl& b& amounts of column inches and bared flesh. Broadcasting has its 6nice7 presenters and news readers. >elebrities could not exist without PR production and media demand. 3 person who is known for well2knownness has to knowingl& get known. This takes a careful self2presentation% a schedule of outings% entrCes and partners to audiences. This is personalit& construction work% nice for those who can get it. It is a double market with suppl& and demand for what is produced and for the mechanics of production% for front2of2house perfection and backstage faux pas. It is a double market for readers wanting to know how it operates% and for PRs and journalists wanting to boast about how it is done. The personalit& construction work has been described b& Dkow Dshun !There is% among% the public toda& a greater awareness of the process of manufacture involved in creating a star. Ee know that the& are not simpl& born. InsteadFthe& must sei8e their moment and spin it and spin it until the result is newspaper headlines% T9 appearances and lucrative product endorsements. Thanks to the media7s own obsession with spin% we are all less naGve about the collusion between event organisers% agents% papara88i and stars that helps create a tabloid sensation.

Reform of relations =ournalism and PR should separate themselves as two distinct communications practices. 3 starting point for this separation is the reconceptualisation of PR as a media s&stem in its own right% alongside print media% radio% T9 and advertising. :uch a perspective befits the current status of PR as a widespread% noticeable and pervasive activit&. 'istoricall&% it has developed principall& as a service to journalism% often staffed b& former journalists% offering pre2prepared cop& to fill space. To a lesser extent and differentl& in terms of an organisational home% PR has roots in the advertising industr&% which offers another form of commercial communication. +:ee Tedlow% !(/( for these historical relationships in the @:3., PR grew b& the side% so to speak% of these more established activities now it stands alone% linked but separate. The literar& flourish caught in 6;ifth Dstate7 reflects this new status. 4ike journalism and advertising% PR produces messages comprising data% opinions and values in forms which have grown distinct from them +e.g. media releases% news videos% lobb&ist briefings,. It distributes this indigenous production directl& through its own distribution s&stems !01 Rethinking public relations +sponsorship% contract publishing% conferences% exhibitions% direct mail, or indirectl& and parasiticall& via other media s&stems +newspapers% broadcasts% internet, to predefined groups of people% its 6publics7. Eith these characteristics of distinct message forms% own and shared distribution media% and aggregations of people which it seeks to persuade% it can be viewed as a media s&stem in its own right. <oreover% PR is done b& people% on both a paid and voluntar& basis% who share identifiable skills and attitudes and who can be found in specific geographic locations andHor in posts with titles traditionall& associated with PR. <an& of these skills are shared with journalists +writing and presentation, but the professional attitudes motivating them +advocac& as opposed to scrutin&, are distinct. These PR attitudes are not effective in the news room and onl& partiall& in the ad agenc&. PR is colonising print and broadcast media% it is argued% in the PR2isation process and this is a compromise of its separateness. This genre colonisation% however% does not den& separateness% for colonisation can be identified precisel& because there is a previous presence$the colonising agent% PR$which is different from the object to be colonised% journalism. PR thus has both an independent 8one of message construction and distribution% and a 8one of distribution which it shares with at least one other media s&stem +journalism,% sharing in a wa& which vitiates the character of the latter. 3 reform of PR can be based on the conceptualisation of PR as a separate media s&stem. 3ll media s&stems +:chlesinger and Tumber !(("% p. ", impart a particular characteristic to the communications the& transmit and the particular characteristic associated with PR is an intense persuasiveness in advocating an interest. PR is partisan% persuasive communications. This partisan characteristic marks off it from uncolonised journalism which transforms PR material b& its scrutin&. :uch journalism is persuasive in assessment of the validit& of interests b& its scrutin& and is not a priori committed to an interest. Ehere journalism is partisan to a media owner or

a political owner% it diminishes itself. The intensel& persuasive qualit& of PR is hidden when the PR media s&stem works vicariousl& through journalistic forms without the latter declaring or amending that qualit&. This hidden sourcing and the related information subsidies to journalism cause public concern because the& present a false identit& a form of journalism but a substance of PR. This falsit& amounts to a limitation put on equal and proportionate access of @A citi8ens to a media which calls itself free +see >hapter ",% and indirectl& to a political s&stem which claims to be democratic and representative. This separatenessHcolonisation perspective allows the development of the reform agenda of PR in its relations with journalism. These two work tasks should be treated as separate media and this distinctness demonstrated. Ehen PR communications come into contact with journalism% the former should be transformed b& journalist work practices. If PR is mixed with journalism% the PR, journalism and the media !0! PR element should be identifed. This visible sourcing of material is an important reform task but is not new. It was a minorit& and temporar& practice in @: journalism at the end of the nineteenth centur& +:tauber and Rampton !((),% and was the practice in the @A Financial Times whereb& technical press releases were grouped together on one page. =ournalists should ask who is benefiting professionall& and in status when the& train PR people. The PR media s&stem is developing through internet use% in that it distributes persuasive messages direct to its publics% intentionall& cutting out media transformation of the material. Ine !(5( surve&!/ shows that "" political parties in the @A had websites and that the& were principall& used as electronic brochures% although left2wing parties attempted two2wa& communications with e2mailers. But the evidence so far is that the internet is more effective for marketing public relations than for political ones face2to2face relationships are integral to deliberative democrac&. The internet% however% does provide an apparentl& new and growing site for competition between business and critical pressure groups. These web pages are monitored b& firms who have developed PR tactics for response +'olt8 !((5% pp. !/-?(5,. It is not clear% however% whether this electronic contest is much monitored b& the critical media it ma& be that journalists perceive it as a field upon which the& have little or no mediating role. 3 hindrance to reform in journalismHPR relations is the traditional regard in which the former has been held% as witnessed b& descriptors such as 6fourth estate7 and 6free press7. It is an uncomfortable fracture of this tradition to see journalists as passive% uncritical processors of PR material. It ma& be that PRisation is too strong a process to resist and that some more journalism should attempt to re2establish itself on a non2market basis. ;allows +!((-, argues for a 6public7 or 6civic7 journalism which is communit&2based in order to be 6journalism in the public spirit7. Dlectronic publishing on the internet is a testing ground for this paradigm% one which evokes the work of the seventeenth2% eighteenth2 and earl& nineteenth2centur& politicall& radical printers and pamphleteers. In toda&7s unreformed circumstances% however% this public service journalism is weak. Too man& journalists den& that PR2isation is happening# all PR people proclaim that it is a positive development. This is true for PR in the particular circumstances of a specific campaign but it is a dubious% summar& judgement if PR2isation reduces the media to a passive publisher of its

material. PR people want their material in the @A media because the latter has had$and is in danger of losing$a reputation for independence of view which conferred credibilit& on what it published. Publication was a favourable testimonial. PR2isation destro&s that and eventuall& dilutes the self2interest of PR producers.

TABLOIDELE- sunt un alt exemplu de contopire a abilitatilor jurnalistice cu cele ale relatiilor publice. Contopire care favori ea a media! acordandu-i caracteristicile unei piete. "eter #ouldin$ a caracteri at acest lucru in patru dimensiuni %tiri usoare "ovesti scurte si multe po e %criitorii se adresea a foarte prietenos! informal "iata e structurata ca un bussines in care valorile sunt exprimate in audiente

%tudiul facut de "eter #oldin$ arata ca tabloidele- au creat o relatie mai prietenoasa cu publicul. De exemplu in stirile de interes politic ce erau cunoscute drept plictisitoare.

In afara acestor aspecte po itive! exista si aspecte ne$ative atunci cand cei din ona media vad audienta strict ca pe niste consumatori iar stirile devin barfe sau informatii de interes propriu al carei scop este sa circule in favoarea unui sin$ur politician!de exemplu.