Little Lies: A Look at Misinformation in Recording Industry Public Relations

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Luchsinger, Madeleine
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Middle Tennessee State University
Public Relations (PR) is a means of strategic communication centered on building relationships between an organization and its publics. The field of PR has a complex history, with frequent ties to propaganda. Historically, journalism and PR have had a contentious relationship, but as newsrooms face economic pressures, journalists have begun to rely more heavily on PR-subsidized material. While the use of misinformation as a PR tactic is publicly decried by professionals in the field, its use in the field is still prevalent, giving misinformation ample opportunity to make its want into the news through subsidized information. This thesis uses gatekeeping theory to examine PR and journalism communications surrounding two newsworthy events in the music industry to determine how corporations release information and how that information is covered by journalists. Using critical discourse analysis, two newsworthy events in the music industry are examined to identify uses of misinformation by corporations.
Critical discourse analysis, Gatekeeping theory, Misinformation, PR, Public Relations, Mass communication