Agency and structure in post-socialist media transformations. The case of the Serbian Centre for Investigative Journalism (CINS)

Irene Bernard Arnold
This dissertation explores how international media assistance projects in post-socialist media contexts are being adapted, translated, and implemented by the local journalist communities. It examines how institutional roles, senses of professional autonomy, and strategies of news sourcing are inter-linked in the context of changing socio-political conditions and national-international media policy objectives. The research is based on a case study of the Center of Investigative Journalism Serbia
more » ... (CINS) and the data were collected through 19 interviews, policy papers, and a month of fieldwork. Drawing insights from expert interviews, document analysis and newsroom ethnography, the inquiry is centered around three major themes: accessibility and credibility, demand and offer, market orientation and audience orientation. Based on Pierre Bourdieu's conception of the journalistic field, the analysis focuses on agency as juxtaposed to the structure of the media system, and seeks to identify the variety of systemic, political, and economic influences in the face of which journalists construct their professional autonomy. Taking institutional roles as a crucial dimension of journalism cultures, the analysis demonstrates that rather than an epistemological perspective, the journalists' professional role conceptions and practices evolve around the local-specific availability of access to economic, emotional and socio-political resources. The research contributes to wider debates regarding media convergence and divergence, with particular reference to the post-socialist media landscape and its transformations
doi:10.26262/ fatcat:5u63sfzt5je7pkq6ieryer4lo4