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Hollings, James; Hanitzsch, Thomas ORCID: 0000-0002-7104-6300; Balasubramanian, Ravi (August 2017): Risky choices? Modelling Journalists’ Perceptions of Aggressive Newsgathering Practices. In: Journalism Studies
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Abstract

Attempts to establish reliable predictors of journalists’ perceptions of the acceptability of various controversial newsgathering practices such as deception and intrusion have so far produced inconsistent results. This paper proposes an exploratory theoretical model, based on risk-taking theory, which identifies constructs that could be used to predict journalists’ use of these practices. It validates this model using data from a survey of practising journalists in New Zealand. It shows that economic and organisational influences on journalists, their role perceptions, and their ethical orientation predict the extent to which journalists see these practices as justified. Organisational influences are moderated by experience, as predicted by risk-taking theory, but seem to have significance only for mid-level experience. This has important implications for journalism practice, regulation, and education.