Relations Between Public Relations Professionals And Media Practitioners

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Introduction The perceived ‘cantankerous’ relationship that characterises the exchanges between public relations professionals and media practitioners has been rife since the birth of public relations. The pair are, in its simplest term ‘frenemies’, they do work together, albeit covertly, and are usually hesitant to admit (on the media side) their cooperation. However, there is no absolute trust held between the two for there is a shifting power of control and influence that continually changes, which Fletcher (as cited in Hobsbawn, 2010, p. 64) believes is due to the market value of the particular product that public relations is representing. Media practitioners are often called the ‘watchdogs’ of society, their history of holding the rulers of society accountable and maintaining democracy is a view that is still maintained today. They are, however, in the eyes of public relations practitioners the ‘gate-keeper’, whereby they decide what is accessible to the public, conversely this power has somewhat diminished due to the rise of the internet. Comparatively, public relations practitioners are viewed by the media as “spin doctors” who threaten legitimate news content and act as “...the servants of vested interests who deny the people their right to know...”(Greenslade, 2005, as cited in White & Hobsbawm, 2007, p.284). In discussing the symbiotic relationship that is held between the two with the essay being written from the perspective of a public relations student, it is
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