Hidden Conflicts and Journalistic Norms: The Case of Self-Coverage
Because news and entertainment firms are increasingly under the same corporate umbrellas, it is likely that reporting by journalists on the cultural products and activities of their affiliated companies will rise. The theme of this study is that the phenomenon of reporting on one's own company is best understood through perspectives on goal conflict and organizational culture. The article argues the need to modify contemporary scholarly contentions that news firms expect open conflict between reporters and their superiors on policy issues. Interviews at two daily newspapers and Time magazine support the theoretically based proposition that investigation of their own organizations is very much an area where journalists draw away from confronting key professional conflicts. Centering on phenomena such as silent bargains and silent routines, the study suggests how conflicts about self-coverage are managed and how this conflict management is tied to larger dynamics of organizational control.