The way local newspapers depict a city as a social unit depends on the type of paper, write Anna Leupold, Ulrike Klinger and Otfried Jarren, all of University of Zurich. The authors compared the depictions of “social cohesion” in the local papers of three German cities.
The authors mapped representations of social cohesion on nine thematic areas, for example social networks and civic participation. There was little variation between cities, but different paper types had different focuses. For example, tabloids emphasized respect for social rules (through crime stories), while both broadsheet-types and advertisement-heavy freesheets relied more on positive discourses of trust in institutions, solidarity, and social networks.
The article “Imagining the City” was published by the journal Journalism Studies. It is available online (abstract free).
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