1981
Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2001-0818
  • E-ISSN:

Abstract

In the current media landscape, accountability can be promoted through a wide range of established and innovative instruments. Focusing on the Spanish context, this article examines journalists’ perceptions of in-house accountability instrument effectiveness and analyses citizens’ knowledge and understanding of these mechanisms. A mixed- methods approach was employed: an online survey was administered to Spanish journalists (N = 228), and six citizen focus groups (38 participants in total) were established in several regions of Spain (Andalusia, Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia, Madrid and Valencia). Findings showed that journalists’ evaluation of media accountability instruments is remarkably limited, scoring 5.82 out of 10 points in the highest case. From the citizens’ perspective, the overwhelming lack of visibility and relative distrust towards these instruments are revealed. This double disconnect from accountability brings to light the need to rethink and reinvigorate the existing instruments so they can effectively contribute to the goal of rebuilding trust in journalism.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • The Ministry of Economy, Science and Competitiveness of Spain – MINECO/FEDER, UE (Award CSO2015-66404-P)
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1386/ajms_00040_1
2022-03-01
2022-11-29
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Allcott, Hunt, and Gentzkow, Matthew. ( 2017;), ‘ Social media and fake news in the 2016 election. ’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 31:2, pp. 21136.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Almiron, Nuria,, Narberhaus, Marta, and Mauri-Ríos, Marcel. ( 2016;), ‘ Mapping media accountability in stateless nations: The case of Catalonia. ’, Catalan Journal of Communication & Cultural Studies, 8:2, pp. 20725.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Alsius, Salvador. ( 1999), Codis Ètics del Periodisme Televisiu, Barcelona:: Pòrtic;.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Alsius, Salvador,, Rodríguez-Martínez, Ruth, and Mauri de los Ríos, Marcel. ( 2018;), ‘ New formats and old crisis. ’, in T. Eberwein,, S. Fengler, and M. Karmasin. (eds), The European Handbook of Media Accountability, Abingdon:: Routledge;, pp. 24350.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bertrand, Claude-Jean. ( 2018), Media Ethics and Accountability Systems, New York:: Routledge;.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Bjerke, Paul. ( 2018;), ‘ Norway: Journalistic power limits media accountability. ’, in T. Eberwein,, S. Fengler, and M. Karmasin. (eds), The European Handbook of Media Accountability, Abingdon:: Routledge;, pp. 18089.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Broersma, Marcel. ( 2019;), ‘ The legitimacy paradox. ’, Journalism, 20:1, pp. 9294.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Brogi, Elda,, Nenadic, Iva,, Parcu, Pier Luigi, and Cunha, Mario Viola de Azevedo. ( 2018), Monitoring Media Pluralism in Europe: Application of the Media Pluralism Monitor 2017 in the European Union, FYROM, Serbia & Turkey. 2018 Policy Report, Florence:: The Centre for Media Pluralism and Media Freedom;, https://cmpf.eui.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Spain_MPM2017_country-report.pdf. Accessed 1 May 2020.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Bryman, Alan. ( 2016), Social Research Methods, , 5th ed.., Oxford:: Oxford University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Campos-Domínguez, Eva, and Redondo-García, Marta. ( 2015;), ‘ Meta periodismo y transparencia informativa en el periodismo del siglo XXI. ’, OBETS-Revista de Ciencias Sociales, 10:1, pp. 185209.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Carlson, Matt. ( 2019;), ‘ The perpetual failure of journalism. ’, Journalism, 20:1, pp. 9597.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Chaparro-Domínguez, María-Ángeles,, Suárez-Villegas, Juan Carlos, and Rodríguez-Martínez, Ruth. ( 2019;), ‘ Media accountability and journalists: To whom do Spanish professionals feel responsible?. ’, Journalism Practice, 14:7, pp. 118.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Christians, Clifford G.,, Glasser, Theodore L.,, McQuail, Dennis,, Nordenstreng, Kaarle, and White, Robert A.. ( 2009), Normative Theories of the Media: Journalism in Democratic Societies, Urbana, IL:: University of Illinois Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Conboy, Martin. ( 2014;), ‘ Celebrity journalism – An oxymoron? Forms and functions of a genre. ’, Journalism, 15:2, pp. 17185.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly ( 2015), ‘Resolution 2066: Media responsibility and ethics in a changing media environment’, https://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-en.asp?fileid=21960&lang=en. Accessed 1 May 2020.
  16. Craft, Stephanie,, Vos, Tim, and Wolfgang, J. David. ( 2015;), ‘ Reader comments as press criticism: Implications for the journalistic field. ’, Journalism, 17:6, pp. 67793.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Culver, Kathleen. ( 2017;), ‘ Disengaged ethics: Code development and journalism’s relationship with “the public”. ’, Journalism Practice, 11:4, pp. 47792.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Diakopoulos, Nicholas, and Koliska, Michael. ( 2017;), ‘ Algorithmic transparency in the news media. ’, Digital Journalism, 5:7, pp. 80928.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Duncan, Jane. ( 2014;), ‘ A political economy of press self-regulation: The case of South Africa. ’, Media, Culture and Society, 36:2, pp. 16782.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Eberwein, Tobias,, Fengler, Susanne, and Karmasin, Matthias. (eds) ( 2018), The European Handbook of Media Accountability, Abingdon:: Routledge;.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Eberwein, Tobias,, Fengler, Susanne,, Lauk, Epp, and Leppik-Bork, Tanja. (eds) ( 2011), Mapping Media Accountability: In Europe and Beyond, Kohln:: Helbert Von Halem Verlag;.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Eberwein, Tobias,, Fengler, Susanne,, Philipp, Susan, and Ille, Maryam. ( 2014;), ‘ Counting media accountability – The concept and methodology of the MediaAcT survey. ’, in S. Fengler,, T. Eberwein,, G. Mazzoleni,, C. Porlezza, and S. Russ-Mohl. (eds), Journalists and Media Accountability: An International Study of News People in the Digital Age, New York:: Peter Lang;, pp. 6579.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. English, Peter. ( 2016;), ‘ Mapping the sports journalism field: Bourdieu and broadsheet newsrooms. ’, Journalism, 17:8, pp. 100117.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Evers, Huub. ( 2012;), ‘ The news ombudsman: Lightning rod or watchdog?. ’, Central European Journal of Communication, 5:2, pp. 22442.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Fengler, Susanne. ( 2012;), ‘ Holding the news media accountable: A study of media reporters and media critics in the United States. ’, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 80:4, pp. 81832.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Fengler, Susanne,, Eberwein, Tobias,, Alsius, Salvador,, Baisnée, Olivier,, Bichler, Klaus,, Dobek-Ostrowska, Boguslawa,, Evers, Huub,, Glowacki, Michal,, Groenhart, Harmen,, Harro-Loit, Halliki,, Heikkilä, Heikki,, Jempson, Mike,, Karmasin, Matthias,, Lauk, Epp,, Lönnendonker, Julia,, Mauri, Marcel,, Mazzoleni, Gianpietro,, Pies, Judith,, Porlezza, Colin,, Powell, Wayne,, Radu, Raluca,, Rodriguez, Ruth,, Russ-Mohl, Stephan,, Schneider-Mombaur, Laura,, Splendore, Sergio,, Väliverronen, Jari, and Zambrano, Sandra. ( 2015;), ‘ How effective is media self-regulation? Results from a comparative survey on European journalists. ’, European Journal of Communication, 30:3, pp. 24966.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Fengler, Susanne,, Eberwein, Tobias,, Mazzoleni, Gianpietro,, Porlezza, Colin, and Russ-Mohl, Stephan. ( 2014), Journalists and Media Accountability: An International Study of News People in the Digital Age, New York:: Peter Lang;.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Ferruci, Patrick. ( 2019;), ‘ The end of ombudsmen? 21st-century journalism and reader representatives. ’, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 96:1, pp. 288307.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Ferruci, Patrick. ( 2020;), ‘ It is in the numbers: How market orientation impacts journalists’ use of news metrics. ’, Journalism, 21:2, pp. 24461.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. García-Avilés, Jose. ( 2019;), ‘ Examining media accountability in online media and the role of active audiences. ’, in T. Eberwein,, S. Fengler, and M. Karmasin. (eds), Media Accountability in the Era of Post-Truth Politics: European Challenges and Perspectives, London:: Routledge;, pp. 27083.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Gutiérrez del Álamo, Patricio. ( 2015;), ‘ El defensor del lector de El País (1985–2010): Una experiencia pionera en España. ’, doctoral thesis, Málaga:: Universidad de Málaga;.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Hallin, Daniel, and Mancini, Paolo. ( 2004), Comparing Media Systems: Three Models of Media and Politics, Cambridge:: Cambridge University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Hanitzsch, Thomas,, Van Dalen, Arjen, and Steindl, Nina. ( 2018;), ‘ Caught in the nexus: A comparative and longitudinal analysis of public trust in the press. ’, International Journal of Press/Politics, 23:1, pp. 323.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Harro-Loit, Halliki. ( 2015;), ‘ Journalists’ views about accountability to different societal groups. ’, Journal of Media Ethics: Exploring Questions of Media Morality, 30:1, pp. 3143.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Heikkilä, Heikki,, Domingo, Dominigo,, Pies, Judith,, Głowacki, Michal,, Kuś, Michal, and Baisnée, Olivier. ( 2012), Media Accountability Goes Online: A Transnational Study on Emerging Practices and Innovations, Tampere:: Journalism Research and Development Centre;.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Herrera-Damas, Susana,, Maciá-Barber, Carlos, and Luengo Cruz, Maria. ( 2018;), ‘ When one is not enough: Professional perception of traditional ethical mechanisms for new times in journalism. ’, Estudios Sobre El Mensaje Periodístico, 24:1, pp. 21331.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Himelboim, Itai, and Limor, Yehiel. ( 2011;), ‘ Media institutions, news organizations, and the journalistic social role worldwide: A cross-national and cross-organizational study of codes of ethics. ’, Mass Communication & Society, 14:1, pp. 7192.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Hutchins, Brett, and Boyle, Raymond. ( 2017;), ‘ A community of practice: Sport journalism, mobile media and institutional change. ’, Digital Journalism, 5:5, pp. 496512.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Joseph, Nichole. ( 2011;), ‘ Correcting the record. ’, Journalism Practice, 5:6, pp. 70418.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Karlsson, Micheal,, Clerwall, Christer, and Nord, Lars. ( 2017;), ‘ Do not stand corrected: Transparency and users’ attitudes to inaccurate news and corrections in online journalism. ’, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 94:1, pp. 14867.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Karmasin, Matthias,, Kraus, Daniela,, Kaltenbrunner, Andy, and Bichler, Klaus. ( 2014;), ‘ Media ethics as institutional ethics: The potential of corporate social responsibility. ’, in S. Fengler,, T. Eberwein,, G. Mazzoleni,, C. Porlezza, and S. Russ-Mohl. (eds), Journalists and Media Accountability: An International Study of News People in the Digital Age, New York:: Peter Lang;, pp. 23148.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Luengo, Maria,, Maciá-Barber, Carlos, and Requejo-Alemán, Jose. ( 2017;), ‘ Evaluating organisational ethics in Spanish news media. ’, Journalism, 18:9, pp. 114262.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Maciá-Barber, Carlos. ( 2006), La Figura del Defensor del Lector, del Oyente y del Telespectador, Madrid:: Universitas;.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Macnaghten, Phil, and Myers, Greg. ( 2004;), ‘ Focus groups: The moderator’s view and the analyst’s view. ’, in J. G. Gobo,, C. Seale, and D. Silverman. (eds), Qualitative Research Practice, London:: Sage Publications;, pp. 6579.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Mauri-Ríos, Marcel, and Ramon-Vegas, Xavier. ( 2015;), ‘ Nuevos sistemas de rendición de cuentas de la información periodística. Una exploración del escenario online español. ’, El Profesional de la Información, 24:4, pp. 38089.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Mauri-Ríos, Marcel,, Rodríguez-Martínez, Ruth,, Figueras-Maz, Monica, and Fedele, Maddalena. ( 2018;), ‘ Press councils as a traditional instrument of media self-regulation: The perceptions of European journalists. ’, Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies, 7:2, pp. 22143.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Mayes, Ian. ( 2004;), ‘ Trust me – I’m an ombudsman. ’, British Journalism Review, 15:2, pp. 6570.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. McQuail, Denis. ( 1997;), ‘ Accountability of media to society. ’, European Journal of Communication, 12:4, pp. 51129.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. McQuail, Denis. ( 2003), Media Accountability and Freedom of Publication, New York:: Oxford University Press;.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Neveu, Erik. ( 2019;), ‘ The challenge of thinking ecologically. ’, Journalism, 20:1, pp. 198201.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Nolan, David, and Marjoribanks, Tim. ( 2011;), ‘ Public editors and media governance at The Guardian and The New York Times. ’, Journalism Practice, 5:1, pp. 317.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Pastor, Luis. ( 2010), Teoría de las Cartas al Director. La Gestión Periodística del Público, Barcelona:: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya;.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Peek, Lori, and Fothergill, Alice. ( 2009;), ‘ Using focus groups: Lessons from studying daycare centers, 9/11, and Hurricane Katrina. ’, Qualitative Research, 9:1, pp. 3159.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Pérez-Díaz, Pedro-Luis,, Zamora-Medina, Roci, and Arroyas-Langa, Enrique. ( 2020;), ‘ Between self-regulation and participatory monitoring: Comparing digital news media accountability practices in Spain. ’, Media and Communication, 82, pp. 11223.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Puppis, Manuel. ( 2009), Organizations of Media Self-Regulation: European Press Councils in Comparison, Cologne:: Herbert von Halem;.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Raeymaeckers, Karin. ( 2005;), ‘ Letters to the editor: A feedback opportunity turned into a marketing tool. ’, European Journal of Communication, 20:2, pp. 199221.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Ramon-Vegas, Xavier,, Billings, Andrew, and Rojas-Torrijos, Jose-Luis. ( 2019;), ‘ Interviews with former ESPN ombudsmen/public editors Kelly McBride, Robert Lipsyte, and Jim Brady. ’, International Journal of Sport Communication, 12:1, pp. 2835.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Ramon-Vegas, Xavier,, Mauri-Ríos, Marcel, and Alcalá-Anguiano, Fabiola. ( 2016;), ‘ Transparencia informativa, autorregulación y participación del público. ’, Comunicación y Sociedad, 25, pp. 10125.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Roberts, Chris. ( 2012;), ‘ Identifying and defining values in media codes of ethics. ’, Journal of Mass Media Ethics: Exploring Questions of Media Morality, 27:2, pp. 11529.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Rodríguez-Martínez, Ruth,, López-Meri, Amparo,, Merino-Arribas, Adoración, and Mauri-Ríos, Marcel. ( 2017;), ‘ Instrumentos de rendición de cuentas en España. Análisis comparativo en Cataluña, Galicia, Madrid y Valencia. ’, El Profesional de la Información, 26:2, pp. 25566.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Rodríguez-Martínez, Ruth,, Mauri-Ríos, Marcel, and Fedele, Maddalena. ( 2017;), ‘ Criticism as an accountability instrument: The opinion of Spanish journalists. ’, Communication & Society, 30:1, pp. 5772.
    [Google Scholar]
  62. Rojas-Torrijos, Jose-Luis, and Ramon-Vegas, Xavier. ( 2017;), ‘ Accountability in social networks. Ever-evolving stylebooks and feedback through Twitter. ’, Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 72, pp. 91541.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Seoane, Maria Cruz, and Sueiro, Susana. ( 2004), Una Historia de el País y del Grupo Prisa. De una Aventura Incierta a una Gran Industria Cultural, Barcelona:: Plaza y Janés;.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. Serazio, Michael. ( 2019;), ‘ The other “fake” news: Professional ideals and objectivity ambitions in brand journalism. ’, Journalism, https://www.doi.org/10.1177/1464884919829923. Accessed 10 February 2022.
    [Google Scholar]
  65. Spiller, Ralf,, Degen, Matthias,, Kronewald, Elke, and Guertler, Katherine. ( 2016;), ‘ Media watchblogs as an instrument of media accountability: An international survey. ’, Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies, 5:2, pp. 15176.
    [Google Scholar]
  66. Tashakkori, Abbas, and Teddlie, Charles. ( 2009), Foundations of Mixed Methods Research: Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Thousand Oaks, CA:: Sage Publications;.
    [Google Scholar]
  67. Torres da Silva, Maria. ( 2012;), ‘ Newsroom practices and letters-to-the-editor. ’, Journalism Practice, 6:2, pp. 25063.
    [Google Scholar]
  68. Tracy, Sarah. ( 2020), Qualitative Research Methods, Chichester:: Wiley-Blackwell;.
    [Google Scholar]
  69. Van Dalen, Arjen, and Deuze, Mark. ( 2006;), ‘ Readers’ advocates or newspapers’ ambassadors?. European Journal of Communication, 21:4, pp. 45775.
    [Google Scholar]
  70. Van der Wurff, Richard, and Schönbach, Klaus. ( 2014;), ‘ Audience expectations of media accountability in the Netherlands. ’, Journalism Studies, 15:2, pp. 12137.
    [Google Scholar]
  71. Wahl-Jorgensen, Karin. ( 2002;), ‘ Understanding the conditions for public discourse: Four rules for selecting letters to the editor. ’, Journalism Studies, 3:1, pp. 6981.
    [Google Scholar]
  72. Waisbord, Silvio. ( 2019;), ‘ The vulnerabilities of journalism. ’, Journalism, 20:1, pp. 21013.
    [Google Scholar]
  73. Weischenberg, Siegfried,, Malik, Maja, and Scholl, Armin. ( 2006;), ‘ Journalismus in Deutschland. ’, Media Perspektiven, 7, pp. 34661.
    [Google Scholar]
  74. Wilkins, Lee, and Brennen, Bonnie. ( 2004;), ‘ Conflicted interests, contested terrain: Journalism ethics codes then and now. ’, Journalism Studies, 5:3, pp. 297309.
    [Google Scholar]
  75. Zelizer, Barbie. ( 2018;), ‘ Epilogue: Timing the study of news temporality. ’, Journalism, 19:1, pp. 11121.
    [Google Scholar]
  76. Zuberogoitia, Aitor,, Bidegain, Eneko, and Gostín, Andrés. ( 2019;), ‘ Mapping media accountability in a stateless nation: The case of the Basque Country. ’, Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies, 11:1, pp. 5978.
    [Google Scholar]
  77. Ramon, Xavier,, Mauri-Ríos, Marcel,, Díaz-Campo, Jesús, and Suárez-Villegas, Juan Carlos. ( 2022;), ‘ A disconnect in media accountability: Spanish journalists’ and citizens’ perceptions of established and innovative instruments at the organizational level. ’, Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies, 11:1, pp. 81102, https://doi.org/10.1386/ajms_00040_1
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1386/ajms_00040_1
Loading
/content/journals/10.1386/ajms_00040_1
Loading

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a success
Invalid data
An error occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error