Different Media, Different Audiences, Different Harassment? How the Journalist-Audience Relationship Shapes Experiences of Harassment

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt


Many journalists regularly experience harassment in their daily work. Audiences in Western democracies have become increasingly aggressive in their communication due to the spread of anti-press sentiments and populist attitudes. This is further facilitated by technological changes, rendering interaction with journalists simple and intrusive. So far, research has found that journalists reporting on specific topics and embodying particular social identities regarding gender, race, sexuality, and religion are predominately and systematically under threat. While these individual factors are important to expose the political targeting of these journalists, we shifted our focus to the different journalist-audience relationships different media outlets establish. In an explorative interview study with 32 German journalists, we analyzed how experiences of harassment are related to the journalist-audience relationships developing in national and local as well as quality, tabloid, constructive, and young audience media. Our findings indicate that these contextual factors determine the composition of the audience, leading journalists to assess closeness or distance differently in the journalist-audience relationship. Subsequently, this results in dissimilar experiences of harassment.
TidsskriftDigital Journalism
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2024

ID: 391815534