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Central European Journal of Communication

Central European Journal of Communication

Scientific Journal of the Polish Communication Association

You are here: Home > Browse Journal > Volume 5 No 2 (9) Fall 2012 > Assessing potentials of journalists’ blogs as an instrument of media accountability in Estonia

Assessing potentials of journalists’ blogs as an instrument of media accountability in Estonia

Halliki Harro-Loit,

Juhan Lang,

Marju Himma-Kadakas

(University of Tartu, Estonia)

ABSTRACT: A distinction should be made between institutional media accountability and journal- istic accountability. The latter individualizes the accountability of media organizations and enables the public to see the individual journalist (with his own ideas, sense of moral values) instead of a homogeneous mass that fits into the corporate journalistic system. This paper focuses on the possibilities accomplished by journalists’ blogs: are these new instruments of accountability that enable individual journalists to highlight their personal moral sensitivity and open their information processing prac- tices to the public? Do Estonian journalists have enough incentives and autonomy to use weblogs as an opportunity to explain their professional decisions or even openly confront the editorial opinion? The analysis draws on 11 qualitative interviews conducted with Estonian journalists and editors. The findings indicate that the fading interest in weblogs is not the main reason why personal blogs of professional journalists would not function as accountability instruments. Journalists seldom describe attitudes that would characterize the “socially responsible existentialist.”