Conference paper (in proceedings)

The Co-Evolution of Public Relations and Journalism : A first contribution to its systematic review


  • 2015
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  • The Proceedings of the International History of Public Relations Conference / Watson, Tom (Hrsg.). - 2015, p. 232-248
English The relationship between public relations (PR) and journalism is mostly conceived of as between “interdependent systems” (Grossenbacher, 1986: 730). In this context, Löffelholz mentions evidence of a “co-evolutionary development of journalism and public relations” that “has not to date been systematically pursued” (Löffelholz, 2004: 472; emphasis author's own). To do so would require a historical perspective of the relationship between PR and journalism, a perspective largely absent from discussions thus far. This is all the more striking as there is reasonable research on PR history in the last years (e.g. Raaz & Wehmeier, 2011; Watson, 2014). But as Lamme & Russell stress, “more research (…) is needed concerning the ways in which the rise of mass media in the last half of the 19th century (…) might have influenced alone or in some combination the motivations and methods of the public relations function” (2009: 356-357). The following is intended to provide a first contribution to the systematic review of the co-evolution of PR and journalism, with particular emphasis on their interaction during the development of PR. This is done with reference to the available discussions on the history of PR, some of which contain valuable pointers. Our contribution here is limited to the German-speaking areas. i This goes along with L’Etang’s demand to explore “more deeply forms of public communication within their socio-cultural contexts” (2014: xiv). The initial findings gained on this basis are then, in conclusion, put in theoretical context. Furthermore, we refer to several studies regarding other than Germanspeaking areas that are supporting our findings. To start with, let us briefly outline the current level of professional debate on the relationship between PR and journalism.
Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales et du management
Département des sciences de la communication et des médias
  • English
Information, communication and media sciences
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