'PR is no cancer eating at the heart of journalism'

Industry views - A PR consultant and a senior journalist give their views on a growing media debate.

CLARENCE MITCHELL

Consultant: Freud Communications

PR is no cancer eating at the heart of journalism. It is, rather, a cure that can offer more informed, more intelligent and, ultimately, more powerful coverage in the correct context... When honesty and openness in a message combine with accurate and independent journalism, it is the journalism that will emerge stronger and better informed for it. PR is the map that increasingly helps journalism see beyond a false, deadline-pressured, fragmented, multi-outlet horizon.

CHARLES ARTHUR

Editor: Technology Guardian

Journalists have enormous time pressures and of course PR people take advantage of it - they'd be stupid not to. PR 'bumph' becomes news because there aren't enough people with time to question what they're handed; too many news editors are being pressured to get something online or in the paper to fill space. NGOs/charities may use a lot of PR but it is companies that use PR to spin or obfuscate. There are ends and means; if PR is used as a means to a laudable end, then the PR is laudable.

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