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ProPublica’s new “50 states” commitment builds on a decade-plus of local news partnerships
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Dec. 2, 2014, 11:33 a.m.

It’s from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford, authored by John Lloyd (FT, Reuters.com, La Repubblica) and Laura Toogood (managing director of private clients, Digitalis Reputation). There’s a live introductory event you can stream at 6 p.m. GMT (in about 90 minutes as I type this) and you can read the executive summary and intro.

Journalism, not much older as an organised profession than public relations, has come to depend on it even as it scorns it. That dependence is not less today: in some cases, it is greater…

The most notable observation to emerge from the research done here is the diminution of public relations’ dependence on journalism, and the growth of journalism’s dependence on PR. PR still needs journalism, which has always acted as a ‘third-party endorsement’ of its claims. But now it has other, often more powerful allies.

Allied to that is the confidence on the part of many PR leaders that they can take over, and are taking over, many of the functions of journalism, and of the media in general. “Every organisation is a media organisation” has developed from being a slogan into becoming a growing reality…

A large new area has opened up for public relations — in protecting and burnishing the reputation of companies, institutions, and individuals. Though always part of PR, reputation is now seen to be more fragile, more open to attack, especially on social media. New techniques of guarding reputation on the internet have been developed.

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