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Crumbled autonomy: Czech journalists leaving the Prime Minister's newspapers

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WASCHKOVÁ CÍSAŘOVÁ Lenka KOTIŠOVÁ Johana

Rok publikování 2022
Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj European Journal of Communication
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Fakulta sociálních studií

Citace
www https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/02673231221082242
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/02673231221082242
Klíčová slova Press ownership; journalistic professional autonomy; workplace autonomy; post-socialist media system
Popis In 2013, the Czech-Slovak businessman Andrej Babiš decided to widen the scope of his activities by buying the Czech media house, Mafra. He was also pursuing a political career and in 2017 became Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. Both the purchase and the political ascent of the new owner have contributed to the departure of many journalists from the two national newspapers in the Mafra Group. The journalists left in waves that corresponded to the stages of Babiš's takeover and the gradual tightening of his grip on the newsrooms, and their departure has done fatal damage to the reputation of Mafra newspapers. Through 10 in-depth interviews with some of the journalists who left, this case study charts the disintegration of the newsrooms to assess the decline of journalistic autonomy within the oligarchized media systems of central and eastern Europe. We aim to identify the point at which the erosion of workplace autonomy becomes unacceptable for media professionals and when the situation becomes inconsistent with their professional identities. The findings suggest that the gradual erosion of journalistic autonomy, caused mainly by changes in the organization's culture, led journalists first to accommodate to the changes and later to leave.

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