Title page for ETD etd-04032011-161152

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Griffiths, Nikki
URN etd-04032011-161152
Document Title Factors affecting the decision making of news editors in South Africa
Degree MBA
Department Gordon Institute of Business Science
Advisor Name Title
Prof M Sutherland Supervisor
  • decision making
  • news editors
Date 2011-04-20
Availability unrestricted

The aim of this exploratory study is to gain an understanding of the factors which influence the decision making of news editors in South Africa. The independent news media is an important source of information in modern society. It has a significant influence on peopleís perceptions of the political and social issues facing a society. However it is not a neutral institution as it is a commercial business driven by profit. Within news organisations, editors are key decision makers as they decide how resources are allocated and which stories enter the public domain. The decisions taken by editors are immediately open to public scrutiny and often impact a range of stakeholders in society.

In this study an exploratory phenomenological approach was used, as this approach seeks to capture the meaning of an experience through an examination of an individualís lived experiences. To achieve this, twelve, in-depth interviews were conducted with editors, with over 85 years of editorial experience, in order to establish which factors influence their decision making process. The data was analysed using content and frequency analysis.

The main factors which the editors identified as influencing their decision making process when evaluating a story included the following: the relevance to the audience, accuracy, the public interest, newsworthiness and entertainment value. In difficult editorial decisions which involved a trade-off between two or more important factors, the editors showed a strong commitment to the journalistic values of acting in the public interest and newsworthiness. Consultation, knowledge and personal attributes emerged as important competencies in ensuring good editorial decisions.

Copyright © 2010, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Griffiths, N 2010, Factors affecting the decision making of news editors in South Africa, MBA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-04032011-161152/ >


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