transfer 24(4) » Strategische Kommunikation

Entrepreneurial journalism: Breaking the Wall

The ethical issues surrounding the journalistic practice from an entrepreneurial perspective

Entrepreneurial journalism has gathered scientific attention in the last few years in the context of the transformations in the media ecosystem and the development in the entrepreneurship filed. The aim of this research project is to contribute to the relatively small body of research specifically on the ethical dimensions.

Based on the research gaps found in the literature, the study focuses on two discussion points: What are the relevant aspects regarding the ethical dimensions of entrepreneurial journalism? How can one deal with the ethical issues deriving from practicing entrepreneurial journalism? The theoretical
framework of entrepreneurial ambidexterity is applied since it can be used on the individual level and involves in its essence performing two seemingly conflicting tasks at the same time. The current study uses a qualitative approach to obtain data by conducting semi-structured interviews with 8 practitioners from the USA, Albania, Bulgaria, Germany and the Republic of North Macedonia. Five females and three males share their experience in Skype/Viber conversations.

Based on the transcribed interviews, the three relevant ethical aspects for entrepreneurial journalism are related to dealing with advertisers and sponsors; dealing with media sources; and maintaining a personal reputation. The proposed solutions to these ethical tensions go from finding help from counterparts, relying on one’s personal values to finding a way to separate the conflicting tasks. The main limitations of the study are related to the selected sampling strategy. The future research objectives include working on the definitions for entrepreneurial journalist and ethics, application of
the ambidexterity theory and gathering input about the challenges for entrepreneurial journalists.