The Theoretical Perceived Transgressing Role and Identity of Contemporary Journalism: Revolution or Evolution?

Cover Page

Cite item


Journalism as a definition emerged more than two centuries ago and became actively promulgated in the study of media by core Western countries. Meanwhile, this term is often interpreted too freely, the term and practice are transgressing in the 21st century. This is a theoretical paper that seeks to understand how the role of journalism and mass media have mutated and why as interpreted by scholars. On the one hand, it is followed with a lack of its complex essence is hindered by contemporary political, social, economic and technological challenges that occur in the way of its development. It is caught between the utopian and idealistic theoretical and conceptual projections that are intended to be the basis of its social capital and legitimacy and the practical dilemmas and hardships (economic and political) of the contemporary era that shift the profession away from the aforementioned ideals.

About the authors

Greg Simons

Uppsala University; Ural Federal University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6111-5325

Associate Professor, Humanitarian Institute of Ural Federal University (Russia); Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University (Sweden).

P.O. Box 514, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden; 19 Mira St, Yekaterinburg, 620002, Russian Federation

Dmitry Strovsky

Ariel University’s Research Centre for Defence and Communication; School of International Studies at Sichuan University

ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1651-2484

Professor, Dr. of Political Science, Research Associate at Ariel University’s Research Center for Defense and Communication (Israel), Visiting Professor of the School of International Studies, Sichuan University (China).

65 Ramat HaGolan St, Ariel, Israel; No. 24, South Section 1, Yihuan Road, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, 610065, P.R. China


  1. Baker, C. E. (2007). Media Concentration and Democracy: Why Ownership Matters. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  2. Bivens, T. (2010). Mixed Media: Moral Distinctions in Advertising, Public Relations and Journalism. New York: Routledge.
  3. Boréus, K, & Bergström, G. (2017). Analysing Text and Discourse: Eight Approaches for the Social Sciences. Thousand Oaks (CA): Sage Publishing.
  4. Blumler, J.G., & Kavanagh, D. (1999). The Third Age of Political Communication: Influences and Features. Political Communication, 16(3), 209-230.
  5. Buschow, C. (2020). Practice-Driven Journalism Research: Impulses for a Dynamic Understanding of Journalism in the Context of its Reorganization. Studies in Communication Sciences, 1(1), 1-15.
  6. Castells, M. (2013). Communication Power. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  7. Deuze, M. & Witschge, T. (2020). Beyond Journalism. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  8. DiMaggio, P.J., & Powell, W.W. (1991). Introduction. In P.J. DiMaggio, & W.W. Powell (Ed.) The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis. Chicago (IL): The University of Chicago Press.
  9. Dunaway, J. (October 2008). Markets, Ownership, and the Quality of Campaign News Coverage. The Journal of Politics, 70(4), 1193-1202.
  10. Fenton, N. (2014). Defending Whose Democracy? Media Freedom and Media Power. Nordicom Review, (35) Special Issue, 31-43.
  11. Fereday, J., & Muir-Cochrane, E. (2006). Demonstrating Rigor Using Thematic Analysis: A Hybrid Approach of Inductive and Deductive Coding and Theme Development. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 5(1), 80-92.
  12. Franklin, B., Hamer, M., Hanna, M., Kinsey, M., & Richardson, J.E. (2011). Key Concepts in Journalism Studies. London: Sage.
  13. Gant, S. (2007). We’re all Journalists Now: The Transformation of the Press and Reshaping of the Law in the Internet Age. New York: Free Press.
  14. Garnier, M., van Wessel, M., Tamas, P.A., & van Bommel, S. (2020). The Chick Diffusion: How Newspapers Fail to Meet Their Normative Expectations Regarding Their Democratic Role in Public Debate. Journalism Studies, 21(5), 636-658.
  15. Giles, R.H. (2010). An Emergent Neo-journalism: The Decline and Renewal of News Media. In Harvard International Review. Fall (pp. 36-40).
  16. Hackett, R.A. (2010). Journalism for Peace and Justice: Towards a Comparative Analysis of Media Paradigms. Studies in Social Justice, 4(2), 179-198.
  17. Hallin, D. and Mancini, P. (2004). Comparing Media Systems: Three Models of Media and Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  18. Hamada, B.I. (2016). Towards a Global Journalism Ethics Model: An Islamic Perspective. The Journal of International Communication, 22(2), 188-208.
  19. Hellmueller, L., Vos, T.P., & Poepsel, M.A. (2013). Shifting Journalistic Capital? Transparency and Objectivity in the Twenty-First Century. Journalism Studies, 14(3), 287-304.
  20. Korkonosenko, S.G. (2006). The Movement with the Terminological Frameworks of the Journalism Theory. In L. Makushin (Ed.). UMO-region, (3). Ekaterinburg: Journalism Faculty of the Ural State University. (In Russ.)
  21. Kovach, B., & Rosenstiel, T. (2011). Blur: How to Know What is True in the Age of Information Overload. New York: Bloomsbury.
  22. Kovach, B., & Rosenstiel, T. (2007). The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect. New York: Three Rivers Press.
  23. McChesney, R.W. (2003a). The Problem of Journalism: A Political Economic Contribution to an Explanation of the Crisis in Contemporary US Journalism. Journalism Studies, 4(3), 299-329.
  24. McChesney, R.W. (2003). Journalism, Democracy, … and Class Struggle. Monthly Review, 52(6), 1-15.
  25. McNair, B. (2009). Journalism in the 21st Century - Evolution, not Extinction. Journalism, 10(3), 347-349.
  26. McNair, B. (2004). The Sociology of Journalism. London: Arnold Publishers.
  27. McQuail, D. (2009). Diversity and Convergence in Communication Science: The Idea of ‘National Schools’ in the European Area.’ In Communicative Approaches to Politics and Ethics in Europe: The Intellectual Work of the 2009 ECREA European Media and Communication Doctoral Summer School. (Ed.) N. Carpentier, P. Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, R. Kilborn, T. Olsson, H. Nieminen, E. Sundin and K. Nordenstreng. Tartu: Tartu University Press.
  28. Mickiewicz, E. (2008). Television, Power, and the Public in Russia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  29. Mosco, V. (2009). The Future of Journalism. Journalism, 10(3), 350-352.
  30. Munoz-Torres, J.R. (2012). Truth and Objectivity in Journalism: Anatomy of an Endless Misunderstanding. Journalism Studies, 13(4), 566-582.
  31. O’Sullivan, J., & Heinonen, A. (2008). Old Values, New Media: Journalism Role Perceptions in a Changing World. Journalism Practice, 2(3), 357-371.
  32. Palmer, R., Toff, B., & Nielson, R.K. (2020). “The Media Covers Up A Lot of Things”: Watchdog Ideals Meet Folk Theories of Journalism. Journalism Studies, 21(14), 1973-1989.
  33. Pickard, V. (2020). Restructuring Democratic Infrastructures: A Policy Approach to the Journalism Crisis. Digital Journalism, 8(6), 704-719.
  34. Rusbridger, A. (2010). The Splintering of the Fourth Estate. The Guardian [Online]. Retrieved March 1, 2021, from nov/19/ open-collaborative-future-journalism, 19 November 2010.
  35. Schutz, A. (1967). The Phenomenology of the Social World (G. Walsh & F. Lehnert, Trans.). Evanston, IL: North Western University Press. (Original German work published 1932).
  36. Seiffert, W. (2007). Russia’s Role in the New World Order [Online]. URL: http://
  37. Shaya, G. The Myth of the Fourth Estate: What is the True Purpose of Journalism? Lapham Quarterly. Retrieved December 1, 2012, from roundtable/myth-fourth-estate, 3 April 2012.
  38. Tapp, J. Andrew Fowler: “Why Journalism is in Decline”, ABC News [Online]. Retrieved March 1, 2021, from journalism-is-in-decline/6670076, 4 August 2015.
  39. Tribusean, I. (2020). The Use of VR in Journalism: Current Research and Future Opportunities. In T. Jung, M. Tom Dieck, P. Rauschnabel (Ed.) Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality: Changing Boundaries in a Dynamic World (pp. 227-239) Cham: Springer.
  40. Tumber, H. (2001). Democracy in the Information Age: The Role of the Fourth Estate in Cyberspace. Information, Communication & Society, 4(1), 95-112.
  41. Turcotte, J., York, C., Irving, J., Scholl, R.M., & Pingree, R. J. (June 2015). News Recommendations from Social Media Opinion Leaders: Effects on Media Trust and Information Seeking. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 20(5), 520-535.
  42. Wahl-Jorgensen, K. (2020). An Emotional Turn in Journalism Studies. Digital Journalism, 8(2), 175-194.
  43. Waisbord, S. (2007). Democratic Journalism and “Statelessness”. Political Communication, 24(2), 115-129.

Copyright (c) 2021 Simons G., Strovsky D.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies