Why Differentiation between PR and Journalism is Necessary

March 23, 2007 • Public Relations • by

Bernd Merkel, Stephan Russ-Mohl, Giovanni Zavaritt (eds.) (2007).
A Complicated, Antagonistic & Symbiotic Affair:
Journalism, Public Relations and their Struggle for Public Attention, Casagrande editore: 185-195
A great deal has been written in recent years about the relationship between journalism and public relations. Three approaches have become particularly prominent in the German speaking world: Barbara Baerns’ “Determination Theory” and Günther Bentele’s “Intereffication Model” from the perspective of PR theory (Baerns 1985; Bentele, Liebert and Seeling 1997), as well as Stephan Russ-Mohl’s (2004: 52) analysis of the interplay between PR and journalism in the “attention economy” within the sphere of journalism.

However, little has been published on the relationship between the training of journalists and of PR specialists. This is surprising since journalists have always been an important reference group for those dealing with public relations. PR experts in turn are becoming increasingly important contact persons for what some refer to as the “media horde.” This article will take a look at older studies as well as current ones that address the training of PR specialists and journalists in Germany. We consider the status quo, normative goals and prospects for the future.
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