News Media Landscape in a Fragile State

Professional Ethics Perceptions in a Post-Ba'athist Iraq

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During the years of Ba'athist dictator Saddam Hussein, media personnel were under tight control and tortured or executed when they strayed from the government line. In the decade following the fall of the Ba'athist regime, thousands of Iraqi journalists were trained in liberal democratic professional norms, and hundreds of news outlets opened even as some of the old patronage practices and violence continued. This study utilized Shoemaker and Reese's hierarchy of influences model to examine factors influencing a proxy indicator for professional ethics, the value of conflict of interest avoidance among a purposive sample of Iraqi journalists (N = 588). We found that the news media routines and ideological levels, though not strong, had the greatest influences on this conflict of interest avoidance perception criterion indicator, the proxy for professional ethics. The findings suggest a tension between liberal democratic journalism training at the routines level and ideological aspects, in some cases, such as ethnic identity and political ideology. Strong influences on perceptions of conflict of interest avoidance were the type of media platform/Western journalism training, Arab ethnicity over Kurdish ethnicity, ideology of “democrat” over Kurdish nationalist or Islamist. No influence was apparent for Internet use frequency or state versus nonstate media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-497
Number of pages27
JournalMass Communication and Society
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 4 2015

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failed state
professional ethics
Iraq
conflict of interest
news
journalism
journalist
ethnicity
Internet
Personnel
political ideology
clientelism
ethnic identity
Arab
personnel
ideology
regime
violence
Values
Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

Cite this

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