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A disconnect in media accountability: Spanish journalists’ and citizens’ perceptions of established and innovative instruments at the organizational level

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In the current media landscape, accountability can be promoted through a wide range of established and innovative instruments. Focusing on the Spanish context, this article examines journalists’ perceptions of in-house accountability instrument effectiveness and analyses citizens’ knowledge and understanding of these mechanisms. A mixed- methods approach was employed: an online survey was administered to Spanish journalists (N = 228), and six citizen focus groups (38 participants in total) were established in several regions of Spain (Andalusia, Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia, Madrid and Valencia). Findings showed that journalists’ evaluation of media accountability instruments is remarkably limited, scoring 5.82 out of 10 points in the highest case. From the citizens’ perspective, the overwhelming lack of visibility and relative distrust towards these instruments are revealed. This double disconnect from accountability brings to light the need to rethink and reinvigorate the existing instruments so they can effectively contribute to the goal of rebuilding trust in journalism.

Keywords: Spain; citizens; journalism; journalists; media accountability; organizational level

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 0000000121722676Universitat Pompeu Fabra 2: 0000000404580356Universidad Internacional de La Rioja 3: 0000000121681229Universidad de Sevilla

Publication date: March 1, 2022

This article was made available online on October 29, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "A disconnect in media accountability: Spanish journalists’ and citizens’ perceptions of established and innovative instruments at the organizational level".

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