AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Building cities on sand: the normative basis for journalism in Cambodia

by Fergal Quinn

Institution: Dublin City University
Department: School of Communications
Year: 2015
Keywords: Education; Globalization; Journalism; Communication; Mass media; Culture; Cambodia
Record ID: 1182025
Full text PDF: http://doras.dcu.ie/20402/


This thesis examines the relationship between normative emphases in journalism training programmes and the subsequent work practices and conceptualisations of journalists who participated in them, and how this happens where programmes are part of international aid strategies in emerging democracies. It hypothesises that particular normative emphases whose bases are contested — whether due to perceived politicisation, culturally hegemonic tendencies or other reasons —adversely affects the fulfilment of particular journalistic ideals. This study uses a qualitative research methodology to examine the example of Cambodia from 1993 to 2011. 54 interviews were carried out with key respondents, followed by a thematic analysis of the data generated. A number of tendencies have emerged from this which broadly support the hypothesis. These include correlations between normative emphases at programme level and politically polarised normative orientations among working journalists. A vocational "western-oriented" approach to journalism training also correlates with limited understanding of critical ethical concepts and low occupational confidence among journalists. This in turn contributes to poor ethical practices and a negative overall perception of the local press. Data also suggests that the international orientation of journalism programmes contributed to the development of a two-tiered press system, which subsequently affected the press' overall impact.