Seeking safe ground: Russian regional journalists' withdrawal from civic service journalism

Elina Erzikova, Wilson Lowrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This paper adopts a system of professions perspective from the sociology of work to assess efforts by Russian regional journalists to redefine the purposes and standards of journalism in an increasingly constraining political and economic environment. Data from interviews and observations at four newspapers in a central Russian province reveal that journalists at these papers have responded to pressures in varied ways, suggesting fragmentation in the occupation. Journalists who came of age during perestroika now avoid public issue reporting, but they seek to maintain jurisdiction over journalistic work by serving as "in-house communicators" for officials, by advising readers on everyday individual needs, and by focusing on literary writing or moral education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-358
Number of pages16
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Local news
  • Perestroika
  • Press freedom
  • Professional control
  • Professional values
  • Russia


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