Journalists as liars, servants, and sell-outs? On the declining trust in the media in the Czech Republic and Slovakia




Czech Republic, distrust, journalists, media, news, oligarchization, Slovakia, scepticism, trust


Trust, a key ingredient for the functioning and survival of the media, has been gradually eroding in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. This essay argues that while some sources of that decline stem from broader social and cultural factors, others can be found in the media and journalists themselves. In both countries, the key reasons seem to be similar: commercialization and oligarchization have given rise to a sceptical attitude towards the media and journalists and it has generated suspicion that they act in the interests of economic and political actors rather than in the interest of the public. In addition, the rise of “alternative” media that spreads disinformation, hoaxes, and propaganda, together with attacks against journalists by top political representatives, further stimulate and strengthen the public perception that journalists are biased and corrupt, and that the media cannot be trusted. The more pronounced decline in trust observed in Slovakia can be explained by lower institutional trust at the societal level, the suspected greater inclination of Slovak journalists towards activism, weaker public service media and its less stable position, and a smaller market that may make it more difficult for various social groups to find a media outlet to represent them.

Author Biography

Marína Urbániková, Masaryk University

Marína Urbániková is an assistant professor at the Department of Media Studies and Journalism and at the Judicial Studies Institute at Masaryk University, Czech Republic. Her research interests include the topics of gender and journalism, journalistic autonomy, journalism cultures, public service media and its independence, the security and safety of journalists, journalism education, and public confidence in the media and journalists. She is currently the principal investigator for the project Rethinking the Role of Czech Public Service Media: Expectations, Challenges, and Opportunities (2021-23), which is supported by the Czech Science Foundation. She has published in, among others, the European Journal of Communication, Journalism Practice, and International Communication Gazette.




How to Cite

Urbániková, M. (2023). Journalists as liars, servants, and sell-outs? On the declining trust in the media in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Global Media Journal - German Edition, 12(2).