PR vs. Journalism: Battle of the Professionals

The age-old rivalry between journalists and PR professionals hurts both groups. These two groups of professionals have been rivals since they first started. Can the two learn to co-habitat?

Journalists feel as if they hold the moral high-ground to PR professionals. They see them as “spin doctors,” who manipulate the truth for their own personal gain. Even if this is true, are journalists any better? Today, news organizations have stopped denying having a political bias and embraced it. The New York Times has recently admitted to being a liberal paper. This clashes with their tag line “All the news that’s fit to print.”

Source: McCauley Advertising

Source: McCauley Advertising

Public Relations professionals feel they hold the key to the news that the media needs. This has also been diminished in recent years. Journalists are doing their own research and, with the advent of the internet, information is much more accessible. Journalists today, often view PR professionals as a road block instead of a helping hand.

Still, journalists need PR professionals to feed them stories and PR professionals need journalists to publish these stores. So why do two professions that strongly rely on each other have such a deep distrust and how do we bridge the gap?

Although this rivalry may once have been justified, it is not anymore. PR professionals today pride themselves on honesty. Their job involves showing the bright side of a situation and every situation does have a bright side. A journalist’s job is to expose both sides of this situation. The two professionals are both working toward one common goal: informing the public and that is what they need to remember.

Ariel Achatz

EMU Journalism Student


5 responses to “PR vs. Journalism: Battle of the Professionals

  1. PR and Journalist are so much alike but different in other ways but I agree that we need to come together. Journalist seek out news and get it to the public as soon as possible, where as PR builds on awareness and interest and gives the public information on a person, product or company. The two can work togther but they would have to come to a medium and compromise to be successful but since they feel as though they’re in competition makes it a little difficult.

  2. I also agree that it is important that the PR and journalism fields be able to work together in order for both fields to be successful. While I do understand that the two fields are competing fields, I think that it is important that both fields remember that the most important aspect of the job is to get information out to the public in an honest, yet intriguing way. Today, being able to work with others in a professional way is crucial to the success of any field and should serve as a motivating factor for both fields to consider.

  3. This relationship is so important in many ways in informing the public, however I feel this gap in the relationship will always be around. The two professions need to maintain a relationship in which they work together. In this blog, when you say both journalists believe “as if they hold the moral high-ground to PR professionals” and PR professionals believe “they hold the key to the news that the media needs,” I feel they are both correct in believing that.

  4. I agree with everyone else’s comment as well. PR professionals and journalist have a common goal of informing the public., I find it funny that their was/is a rivalry between the two. I think that the two professionals need to come together because in the end they both need each other. It should be like a business partnership so to speak.

    I think the overall conclusion to this all is ethics. If both professionals use ethics then this rivalry so to speak would not be so bad so to speak. Yes everyone sees ethics in a different way but I do believe that less of a gap between the two would exist if ethics was the center of everything.

  5. I totally agree with you! Being a PR major myself, I think team work is essential.

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