The disclosure dilemma: Returning to journalism after political media advising

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    The principle of transparency in journalism, including disclosure of journalistic processes and reporters’ personal interests, has been enthusiastically embraced. However there has been little focus on the possible harm disclosure can have on a reporter’s reputation. This paper reports on a selection of findings from wider inductive, qualitative research into the transition from journalism to political media advising and back again. Semi-structured interviews with twenty-one journalists who had moved between the two roles revealed the interviewees faced a dilemma about disclosing their previous political work history because of concern about inviting a suspicion of partisanship from others. In response, the interviewees adopted five key strategies to disclosing their political employment: Being ‘up front’; ‘Flying below the radar’; ‘Keeping it a secret’; ‘Selective disclosure; and, ‘Overcompensation’. Based on these findings this paper argues that the seemingly simple principle of transparency can have complex ramifications which need to be considered when advocating disclosure of interests by journalists
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)58-70
    Number of pages13
    JournalCommunication Research and Practice
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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