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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Doctor of Philosophy
Title Journalism under Siege: An Investigation into How Journalists in Macedonia Understand Professionalism and Their Role in the Development of Democracy
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
URL http://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2096&context=utk_graddiss
The financial decline of the traditional media; technological advances and 24/7 news cycles; and
the rise of new media are transforming journalism in ways that are seen as problematic and
leading towards less professional practices. In Eastern Europe this transformation tops off the
still ongoing systemic transformation from communist systems, ongoing since the late 1980s.
This study examines how journalists in Macedonia perceive their profession today, what
they consider professional journalism, and how they define their role in Macedonian society and
democracy. Macedonian media system is fragmented and financially fragile, providing an
opening for political and business influence. Foreign capital in the media market is limited and
only present in the print media. The ethnic diversity of the country is reflected in the mass media,
thus there are number of media working in languages other than Macedonian.
The research takes a humanistic approach, employing grounded theory. The researcher
discovered five themes in the analysis of interviews with 32 participants: (1) Ideal vs. reality, or
when journalists do not behave according to professional standards, even as they define them; (2)
Self-censorship, as a rule; (3) The blame game, with older journalists blaming younger
journalists, and vice versa, for the problems experienced in journalism; (4) Education, the
acknowledged and ignored problem; and (5) Agents of change that cannot change anything,
another exhibit of the tensions between the ideal and desired journalistic roles, and reality. These
themes constitute the theoretical framework of journalism in transformation.

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