Advocacy media campaigns, staged by Romanian television channels and focused on changing social policies, have gained increasing visibility in the Romanian public sphere. The article examines models of journalism and normative theories about the role of the press in a democracy in order to carve out a normative position from which this emerging media format can be analysed. It situates media advocacy within the frame of interpretive journalism, aimed both at facilitating democratic debate and citizen participation (civic journalism), and at social reform (radical journalism). The reassessment of media strategies based on emotions and interpretation as mediators of social reality may lead to a positive, ‘optimistic’ view of campaign journalism. However, the advanced commercialisation of the media and the struggles for political representation interfere with and make the task of socially responsible journalism an incredibly challenging one.
Keywords: media advocacy, normative theories of the press, interpretive journalism, radical journalism, commercialisation.