The Relationship Between Public Relations and Journalism - En Essay Example

4 pages
878 words
Middlebury College
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The issue under discussion is the relationship between public relations and journalism.

The growth of the internet, global communication, and thriving communication channels has led to the relationship between public relations practitioners and journalist.

Both journalists and public relations practitioners have communication expertise and work with as well as understand media relations.

The topic is important at this time due to the changing media environment.

The role of public relations practitioners is to profile organizations relationship with its publics.

A journalists role is to make reports based on news stories. The relationship between the two is based on mutual dependency.

Public relation practitioners provide background information to journalists to assist them to get the right information for their reports.

Due to the rise in digital age, the relationship is a hot topic today.

It has been a hot topic for some time due to the reciprocal reliance.

The new media, particularly social media and the internet has enabled public relations practitioners and journalists to communicate with their audiences.

The new technology has enhanced the relationship between both parties.

The paper will discuss the historical and current perspectives on the topic of public relations and journalists correlation.

Historical Perspective

The topic of public relations and journalism began before the World War I.

Vaughn (2007, p.427) affirms that before the World War I, public relations had a significant association with press agentry. As the author adds, Willard G. Blyer, and influenctial individual at the University of Wisconsin started journalism, and believed that it was important to understand its relationship with public relations.

The United States government began to use mass communication as a way of spreading propaganda during the World War I (Vaughn 2007, p.427).

The author adds that one of the founding fathers of public relations, Edward L. Bernayas, worked in the government propaganda during the war and found a way to use modern communication to make public appeals.

The author asserts that in 1945 during the end of the World War I, public relations expanded. Afterwards, in 1947, the Public Relations Society of America was formed (Vaughn 2007, p.427).

The author explains that in 1992, public relations became under criticism due to their nature of news coverage.

Despite the crisis, public relations practitioners provide critical information to journalist (Vaughn 2007, p.427).

On the perspective of media producers and consumers, the topic is understood concerning the ethical paradigms to the new media.

Vaughn (2007, p.140) avers that news systems and programs have put pressure on media producers to provide instant news coverage to consumers, which has led to factual errors and credibility problems.

As the authors explain, the digital technology has resulted in significant shift in reading and viewing news.

Both producers and consumers value the relationship between journalists and public relation practitioners, but the propaganda issues are a primary setback.

Current Perspective

Today, the rise of digital technology has intensified the discussions of the relationship between public relations and journalism.

Currently, both public relations practitioners and journalists are under scrutiny for accuracy of their reporting.

Individuals should be interested in the topic today because varying competing interests between the two parties.

Since public relations practitioners provide journalists with news to report, people ought to be keen on the news because the crisis of fake news is the fault of both parties.

Cox (2017, p.1) affirms that in the midst of content driving and online influencing, individuals should take note of the significance of building the relationship between the two in an offline capability.

Both journalists and public relations practitioners have competing interests on the nature of their relationship.

Kaur & Shaari (2006, p.29) affirm that public relations practitioners believe that they are the primary reason journalists perform exemplary because they provide them with satisfactory information.

The authors affirm that the two media house have a mutual relationship, which is based on trust.

Burgh (2013, p.101) affirms that a rise in demand for public relations and journalism has been ongoing for a while by businesses and government organizations.

In regards to future forecasts, both parties will have to continue to build their relationship to give in to the demand.


The paper discusses the historical and current perspectives of the relationship between public relations and journalism.

As it appears, during the rise of public relations and journalism, it faced a lot of criticism due ethics in their news coverage.

Findings from the research reveal that the relationship between the two parties is a love-hate situation.

Public relations practitioners believe that without their help, journalists would not have any means to do their apt reporting and journalists think the other way round.

Based on the research, findings reveal that since public relations and journalism began before World War I, and as it has grown over the years, in the future, the relationship between both parties will grow.

Both public relations practitioners and journalists should work diligently to improve the accuracy of their news.



Burgh, H. D. (2013). Investigative Journalism. New York, NY: Routledge.

Cox, E. (2017). Where Does Public Relations Fit In 2017? Business 2 Community. Retrieved


Kaur, K., & Shaari, H. (2006). Perceptions on the Relationship between Public Relations

Practitioners and Journalists. Kajian Malaysia, Vol. XXIV, No. 1 & 2.

Vaughn, S. L. (2007). Encyclopedia of American Journalism. New York, NY: Routledge.


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