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Journalistic practice in the international press corps

Abstract: This paper investigates what form journalistic questioning takes within the international press corps when representatives of different press systems work in close proximity. Within the U.S. context, adversarial questioning is valued as a key resource to ensure an independent press. Yet independent journalism is not universally upheld in media systems worldwide; Russian officials have explicitly criticized adversarial reporting by Western journalists in their coverage of Russian affairs. Questions posed to Russian Presidents Putin and Medvedev in G8/G20 press conferences 2000–2015 were assessed for two indicators: (a) initiative, and (b) critical content, with the aim to determine whether journalistic practice will converge in an international context, and whether the rise in adversarialness documented within U.S. presidential press conferences parallels a more general international phenomenon. Findings show a significant increase in both indicators over time and by presidential term. Questioning practices exhibited by Russian, non-Western, and Western journalists are discussed.
Keywords: journalistic practice / presidential / Russian / Western / adversarial / press corps / international press

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