UNESCO publications focus on quality of Brazilian media
UNESCO's Brasilia Office has launched four publications in the Communication and Information Debates series. The output of a study developed in cooperation with the Brazilian National Net of Press Observatories (Renoi), the four titles stress the need for quality indicators for Brazilian media companies.
"Defining quality indicators for journalism is a way to strengthen democratic functions of the media," states Rogério Christofoletti, one of the authors of the series. The four new publications offer the matter for a substantial discussion on self-regulation of the Brazilian media. Launched simultaneously to facilitate the debate on the subject, they aim to draw an overview of how Brazilian newspapers and magazines are facing market challenges and the growing demand of the public.
The interviews conducted in the framework of the study, Indicators of Quality in Journalistic Information, demonstrate that the topic of quality is one of the main concerns of Brazilian media companies. Big publishing groups in search of new public are repositioning themselves and adding intangible values to their portfolio.
Twenty two managers from national and regional media groups were interviewed on indicators and editorial quality policies in their companies. They agreed that ethics are the way towards a better quality and that financial independence is a requisite for the editorial one. But there was not convergence in opinions regarding the rules and patterns to follow.
The views of journalists themselves were also taken into account by the study. Nearly 275 journalists completed the electronic form, based on UNESCO's Media Development Indicators. The results showed that journalists who participated in the research are very much concerned with the importance of quality criteria.
According to the researchers, the definition of "quality indicators" inserted in a management system can help journalistic organizations and also the groups that monitor them to better identify the desired qualitative attributes, as well as deficiencies that must be avoided in the journalistic service. The challenge of quality in journalism can be articulated in two dimensions: the existence of a social, cultural, political and economic environment for quality; and the existence of committed organizations that develop enough know-how to attain performance standards. These standards, called "quality standards", must be defined publicly.
The quality indicators matrix proposed in the study is supported by journalism theories, UNESCO's Media Development Indicators and standard rules acknowledged by the Brazilian National Foundation for Quality. They include aspects like management responsibility and organizational leadership, strategy and planning, resources management, rating, analysis, and improvement of results. According to the researcher Luiz Egypto Cerqueira, this matrix is intended to be an initial step towards the construction of a broader tool of quality indicators.
The four publications are available online in Portuguese, free of charge (click on the titles):
<li><a href="ev.php?URL_ID=31007&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">Indicadores da qualidade no jornalismo: políticas, padrões e preocupações de jornais e revistas brasileiros</a> (Media quality indicators: policies, standards and concerns of Brazilian magazines and newspapers)</a>
<li><a href="ev.php?URL_ID=31008&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">Jornalistas e suas visões sobre qualidade: teoria e pesquisa no contexto dos indicadores de desenvolvimento da mídia da UNESCO</a> (Journalists and their vision on quality: theory and research in the context of the UNESCO Media Development Indicators),
<li><a href="ev.php?URL_ID=31009&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">Sistema de gestão da qualidade aplicado ao jornalismo: uma abordagem inicial</a> (Quality management systems applied to journalism: an initial approach), and
<li><a href="ev.php?URL_ID=31010&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">Qualidade jornalística: ensaio para uma matriz de indicadores</a> (Quality journalism: an essay on a matrix of indicators).
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