In recent years scholars have claimed that there is a trend toward less diversity in news content. Kathleen Beckers, Andrea Masini, Julie Sevenans, Miriam van der Burg, Julie De Smedt, Hilde Van den Bulck, Stefaan Walgrave, all of University of Antwerp, explore if this is true by conducting a quantitative analysis of the news content of nine major newspapers in Flanders in 1 week in 1983, 1993, 2003, and 2013.
The analysis shows that news content diversity has not decreased. In fact, news agenda has even become a bit more diverse between 1983 and 2003. Only between 2003 and 2013 there was a slight decrease in diversity.
Newspapers with the same profile relate to each other more strongly than newspapers with different profiles. Also newspapers that belong to the same media group correlate more strongly with each other. Overall, Flemish newspapers were quite diverse and covered different stories.
The article “Are newspapers’ news stories becoming more alike? Media content diversity in Belgium, 1983–2013” was published by Journalism. Find the article here.
Picture: Portugal by Bert Kaufmann, licence: CC BY 2.0