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ARTICLE: Popular and regional press share news values

Untitled by Peter H. licence CC0 1.0

Popular newspapers and regional newspapers resemble each other in terms of how often they employ different news values, Mark Boukes and Rens Vliegenthart, both of the University of Amsterdam, write. The authors conducted a content analysis on over 6 000 news articles about economy, published by nine Dutch newspapers.

Each article was coded according to the news values present in the story. For example, “personification” was used in 13.5 per cent of popular papers’ stories and in 12.4 per cent of regional papers’ pieces. Both quality newspapers and the Netherlands’ only financial paper employed the news value much less frequently (7.7 and 5.3 per cent of stories, respectively).

Similar pattern was found in the uses of “negativity” and “proximity” – popular and regional papers used them more than quality papers and the one financial paper did. Interestingly, quality and popular papers appear to value “influence and relevance” just as much, while the financial paper put notably less and the regional papers more emphasis on this value.

The financial newspaper investigated by Boukes and Vliegenthart stands out from the rest on several accounts. In addition to “influence and relevance”, it pays much less heed to “proximity” and “controversy” than all the other papers. Furthermore, the financial paper employed fewer news values than the others. As a specialist news outlet, the financial paper might have less reason to “construct stories as newsworthy”, the authors suggest.

The article “A general pattern in the construction of economic newsworthiness?” was published by the journal Journalism. It is freely available on the publisher’s website (open access).

Picture: Untitled by Peter H. licence CC0 1.0.

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