Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Issues of “professionalism” in journalism have been the focus of commentary and research in the United States for a century. Central to the debate are differing views on what the concept means; whether it is an ideological smokescreen or a measurable empirical reality; and, more to the point, whether professionalism is or should be integral to the work of processing and disseminating news. Since the 1960s, American approaches to the study of journalistic professionalism have grown in sophistication along with the increasing complexity of news media themselves. As governments' role in media recedes and commercialism advances in both industrial nations and developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, the concept has gained salience worldwide. Applied to virtually any line of work, professionalism implies doing something full-time for a living, with serious structured expectations, as opposed to something done for diversion or fun or part-time. With somewhat more gravitas, professionalism ...