354 | 30, pp. 351-368 | doxa.comunicación

January-June of 2020

The congruence between the legitimacy judgments of the public institution, the media and citizens

ISSN: 1696-019X / e-ISSN: 2386-3978

1.2. Types of legitimacy

It is important to explore the different types of legitimacy to analyse the elements referred to by citizens when they express a judgement. Literature on this suggests legitimacy typologies to identify the different types of judgements made with regard to the characteristics observed or given in an organization (Deephouse and Carter 2005; Díez et al.2010; Bitektine 2011).

The most complete classification is that suggested by Suchman (1995). This author identifies three types of legitimacy: pragmatic, moral, and cognitive. He declares that this typology is based on the fact that judgements are made in relation to social standards, but there are nuances that distinguish the object of the judgement.

In studies such as those by Canel (2015), Robles and Canel (2017) and Robles, (2019), the typology of moral legitimacy of Schuman (1995) has been used to analyse the communication of intangible assets. This typology is as follows:

Procedural legitimacy is based on the evaluations that people make of the procedures and processes that public admi-nistrations have followed to produce results.

Personal legitimacy is that of leadership.

Consequential legitimacy refers to the judgement of the results of public management.

Structural legitimacy deals with building facilities, resources, labour policies, etc.

Public administrations can benefit from the research on the legitimacy judgements made by citizens to manage legitimacy and come up to their expectations and needs.

1.3. Legitimacy in a hybrid media system

In this section we will examine the concept of media legitimacy and contextualize the hybrid media system.

Media legitimacy is the legitimacy shown in the media (Bitektine, 2011). We will deal with the authors Pollock and Rindova to make an approach to the concept of media legitimacy. These authors conclude that ‘the role of the media is to be information intermediaries’ (2003: 631). In their research they consider that the way in which the media broadcasts or does not broadcast the information also influences, making it more desirable and more legitimate (2003: 631). In consequence, the judgements made by investors can be influenced by the presentation of the information issued by the media.

In this sense, we can confirm that media legitimacy is related to the judgement made by the media about a public administration. The authors Robles and Rodríguez (2017: 56) conclude that media legitimacy is an intangible asset for the organization, but dependant on the evaluations made by the media. In addition, they state that ‘the media is a source of public opinion and catalyst for attention, and for this reason, any public or private organization must monitor the media repercussion and adopt strategies that safeguard their legitimacy’ (2017: 56).

As far as media repercussion is concerned, as Chadwick coined (2013), we are immersed in a hybrid media system, that is, in a context where we find traditional media and social media. Following this author, both media are in the same context, but it is traditional media that set the agenda and influence society the most.