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Journalism Culture in Trinidad and Tobago

Herrera, A. (2023). Journalism Culture in Trinidad and Tobago. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


The aim of this study is to investigate journalism culture in Trinidad and Tobago. To date, there has been no holistic study of journalism culture in Trinidad and Tobago. A nine month ethnographic study was conducted to observe the journalism culture within six newsrooms focusing on three newspapers and three television stations. In addition, ninety-three in depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with journalists who worked within those newsrooms to find out how they perceived and performed their roles and defined their own culture. Through these methods, journalism culture came to be understood as discursive field where numerous contradictory elements struggled, ebbed and flowed, such as a journalist’s intention to uphold the public interest and their simultaneous acceptance of inducements and engagement in political clientelism to make ends meet. Other pertinent research findings show that that editors and investigative journalists felt the chill of media laws rather than regular journalists as they were either ignorant of the laws or did not care about them, relying on their editors to vet their work. These regular journalists felt the economic chill of advertisers and other financial contributors more than the legal chill, causing them to self censor their work. Risk of reprisals in the newsroom as well as by those they cover, were also identified as deterrents to reporting freely. Through this investigation into journalism culture in Trinidad and Tobago, a new professional milieu emerged: the controlled watchdog.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
N Fine Arts > NE Print media
T Technology
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
School of Communication & Creativity > School of Communication & Creativity Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
[thumbnail of Herrera Thesis 2023 PDF-A redacted.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
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