Fuzzy, Transparent, and Fast: Journalists and Public Relations Practitioners Characterize their Connections and Interactions in Social Media

Aaron Chimbel, Tracy Everbach, Jacqueline Lambiase


This mixed-methods study, based on a survey including open-ended responses from 167 journalists and public relations practitioners, examines views on social media interactions between these professionals. Grounded in journalism ethics and news production research, the study examines how professionals navigate rapidly changing social media. Results show journalists and PR practitioners see themselves as working in the same digital space. Journalists and PR professionals responded that it was ethical to become social media “friends” and followers with each other. Still, these relationships are evolving.


Facebook; Twitter; social networking sites; social media; journalism ethics; public relations ethics

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