WASCHKOVÁ CÍSAŘOVÁ, Lenka. Local media owners as saviours in the Czech Republic : they save money, not journalism. In Agnes Gulyas, David Baines (eds.). The Routledge Companion to Local Media and Journalism. 1st ed. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2020. p. 214-225. Routledge media and cultural studies companions. ISBN 978-0-8153-7536-4.
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Basic information
Original name Local media owners as saviours in the Czech Republic : they save money, not journalism
Authors WASCHKOVÁ CÍSAŘOVÁ, Lenka (203 Czech Republic, guarantor, belonging to the institution).
Edition 1st ed. London, The Routledge Companion to Local Media and Journalism, p. 214-225, 12 pp. Routledge media and cultural studies companions, 2020.
Publisher Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Other information
Original language English
Type of outcome Chapter(s) of a specialized book
Field of Study 50801 Journalism
Country of publisher United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Confidentiality degree is not subject to a state or trade secret
Publication form printed version "print"
RIV identification code RIV/00216224:14230/20:00115521
Organization unit Faculty of Social Studies
ISBN 978-0-8153-7536-4
Keywords in English local media; media ownership; billionaire saviours
Tags rivok, topvydavatel
Tags International impact, Reviewed
Changed by Changed by: Mgr. Blanka Farkašová, učo 97333. Changed: 2/3/2021 11:07.
Media ownership matters, as supported by analyses suggesting content changes significantly along with changes in ownership (Wagner – Collins 2014). Similarly, owner’s influence journalist (Cushion 2007) and journalists’ perception of ownership changes (Tejkalová et al. 2015; Hájek et al. 2015). Regarding the Czech media system, focus on changes in media ownership is relevant for three reasons: (1) print media ownership in 2015 resulted in a total replacement of recently dominant foreign owners with local businessmen, “billionaire saviours” (see Chittum in Wagner – Collins 2014), partly due to the continuing decline in print readership; (2) media ownership policy and development are specific for transitive media systems, but at the same time relevant for globalized international media framework; (3) the important, but concurrently fragile Czech local print media were part of the ownership changes and thus they can serve as typical examples of ownership change research. Based on long-term qualitative research (in-depth interviews conducted with journalists in 2009, 2015, 2016, 2017 and document analysis), this case study focuses on journalist perception of media ownership and on the shift in this perception after changes in ownership through analysis of the Czech dominant local media chain, Vltava Labe Media. Particular attention is paid to the owners’ impact on how journalists understand the owner’s role in the media house and how the changes in ownership impact professional journalistic practices. The findings suggest that respondents were unable to explain both the old and new owners’ role in the publishing house, as owners remained almost “invisible” to them. Instead, journalists spoke about past and present pressures on profit and cost savings or unacceptable merges in editorial and advertising work. Interestingly enough, the journalists do not associate these commercialization pressures with the owners, but rather with the constantly changing management. Journalists conceive either past or present media owners as money savers rather than saviours of journalism.
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