The Passive Journalist: How sources dominate the local news

Article English OPEN
O'Neill, Deirdre ; O’Connor, Catherine (2008)

This study explores which sources are “making” local news and whether these sources are simply indicating the type of news that appears, or are shaping newspaper coverage. It provides an empirical record of the extent to which sources are able to dominate news coverage from which future trends in local journalism can be measured. The type and number of sources used in 2979 sampled news stories in four West Yorkshire papers, representing the three main proprietors of local newspapers in the United Kingdom, were recorded for one month and revealed the relatively narrow range of routine sources; 76 per cent of articles cited only a single source. The analysis indicates that journalists are relying less on their readers for news, and that stories of little consequence are being elevated to significant positions, or are filling news pages at the expense of more important stories. Additionally, the reliance on a single source means that alternative views and perspectives relevant to the readership are being overlooked. Journalists are becoming more passive, mere processors of one-sided information or bland copy dictated by sources. These trends indicate poor journalistic standards and may be exacerbating declining local newspaper sales.
  • References (21)
    21 references, page 1 of 3

    Aldridge, Meryl (2003) 'The ties that divide: regional press campaigns, community and populism', Media, Culture and Society, Vol. 25, pp.491-509.

    Allern, Sigurd (2002) 'Journalistic and Commercial News Values: News Organizations as Patrons of an Institution and Market Actors', Nordcom Review, pp.

    Anderson, Alison (1997) Media, Culture and the Environment. London: UCL Press.

    Appleyard, Brian (1993) 'John Major Ate Our Monsters', Independent, 11 February 1993.

    Aspinall, Chris (2005) 'The news monopoly', Free Press, 144, January/February, pp.2-3.

    Barnett, Steven and Gaber, Ivor (2001) Westminster Tales: The Twenty-first-century Crisis in Political Journalism. London, New York: Continuum.

    Bell, Allan (1991) The Language of News Media. Oxford; Blackwell.

    Curran, James and Seaton, Jean (1997) Power Without Responsibility. London: Routledge.

    Davis, Aeron (2003) 'Public Relations and News Sources' in Simon Cottle (ed) News, Public Relations and Power, London: Sage.

    Davis Aeron (2002) Public Relations Democracy. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

  • Metrics
    views in OpenAIRE
    views in local repository
    downloads in local repository

    The information is available from the following content providers:

    From Number Of Views Number Of Downloads
    University of Huddersfield Repository - IRUS-UK 0 249
Share - Bookmark