Commercial pressures in Spanish newsrooms: Between love, struggle and resistance Articles uri icon

publication date

  • September 2019

start page

  • 1088

end page

  • 1109


  • 8


  • 20

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1461-670X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-9699


  • The crisis affecting news organisations, along with their struggle to find a sustainable online business model, have challenged journalists' professional autonomy, as economic and commercial pressures find their way into journalists' daily practice. This research explores the perceived influence of commercial pressures on Spanish newsrooms, paying special attention to how journalists resolve and manage those conflicts within the limits of the media organisation. Through 50 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with Spanish journalists and editors, the findings emphasise the usual, while normalised prevalence of commercial pressures. The study argues that the newspaper crisis has weakened news organisations' independence from advertisers, as big corporations that concentrate most of the market share have very significant structural influence. The article identifies the most common typologies of commercial pressures according to the producing source (internal or external), and addresses their main effects for journalism practice, specifically for journalists' autonomy and newspapers agenda setting. It concludes that in order to decrease advertisers' bargaining power, a more diverse organisational news media landscape needs to be enhanced and therefore, policymakers should accommodate shifts towards subscription and ensure a viable future for entrepreneurial journalism start-ups.


  • advertisers; commercial pressures; market-driven journalism; professional autonomy; quality; agenda setting; journalism practice