Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


The adversarial relationship between journalists and public relations practitioners is nothing new. No matter in what era or in what context, there has always been friction between those who mind the media gates and those whose livelihoods depend upon getting information disseminated. It is inherent, it is argued here, for cultural discourse of public relations practitioners and journalists. Several studies examined the adversarial relationship, and most had consistent findings -- the two occupations view each other quite differently. Stegall and Sanders (1986) indicated that journalists see their roles and the roles of public relations practitioners as distinctly different. They wrote that journalists believe they have a responsibility to be the public's eyes and ears, while thinking of public relations people as promoters, not journalists. Journalists expect public relations persons to show only the positive elements of their clients or organizations and shield the negative aspects. Stegall and Sanders summarized their thoughts this way: "The reporter thinks his own motivations are more honorable_than those of the public relations director" (p. 343). Tunstall (1971) explained that journalists see themselves above reproach and the "crass commercialism" (p. 72) of public relations practitioners.

Year of Submission



Department of Communication and Theatre Arts

First Advisor

Dennis Corrigan


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Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (45 pages)