Journalists and PR experts daily gain on importance in creating public opinion. Members of these professions are directed to each other and their everyday relationship takes on new forms. These should be controlled since there is a real danger of their degenerating into the very opposite. The greatest part of all informative press, radio and television programs is filled with PR material and by their misuse, heavy manipulations may occur. It is not always easy for the media or the journalist to recognize often hidden interests of those who supply PR materials. In order to avoid such traps it is necessary to have vast knowledge, personal courage and moral stamena. This work presents research results on the interaction of journalists and PR experts. They are based on material collected by in-depth interviews with members of both professions. The research aims to identify the problems that endanger the quality of communication between journalists and PR experts, in order to improve their cooperation and help successful informing of the general public.


Journalists and PR experts were once two strictly separated professions. As time passed by they grew closer and today almost 70% of all published news come from PR sources. Nobody is accusing journalists of being lazy or PR experts of being overly aggressive in imposing their information. A peaceful harmony could be found in the print business. But, new digital technologies, especially social networks, have dramatically changed the relationship and harmony between journalists and PR professionals. Numerous citizen journalists and citizen PR equivalents, without any other reason except their wish to be heard, overload social networks with information of very often dubious quality or unethical features. Nevertheless, social networks are free, we have freedom of speech, and Facebook, Twitter and other networks have pushed out the classical media. Journalists were the first line of victims, but black clouds loom over PR professionals as well. They never know when one kid may crucify their company on Twitter. How can PR experts respond to aggressive network communicators and are they capable of, together with journalists, returning information to the old stream? The process cannot be considered reversible, because nobody has managed to stop the technology development yet. Adjusting to the new technologies, finding new possibilities and reasserting quality information is the only possibility. Journalists and PR experts have to find together new methods for creating news and informing the public.


The paper considers structural causes for the domination of PR over information content in the media, with special emphasis on the Serbian media scene – mainly the print and online editions. Recognition of the growing global trend of storytelling finds its roots in formation and hyper fast development of the PR industry and parallel academic research and foundation of public relations as a special discipline within public studies, in a period spanning almost a century. The world economic crisis and its repercussions which have caused the biggest crisis of the media industry (primarily in the print media) ever, along with the digital storm which has totally transformed the information and communication channels, as well as the profession crisis – gave additional power to the PR and opened new spaces for the boom of the PR machinery. Continual shrinking of resources for gathering and processing of information and consequential disappearance of investigative and interpretative journalism coupled with increased possibilities for politicians and companies to deliver their messages directly to the public have created a global media trend which spilled over impoverished Serbian media scene over the last few years, making it dependent on this kind of PR content.