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Four rumours and an explanation: A political economic account of journalists' changing newsgathering and reporting practices

Lewis, Justin Matthew Wren, Williams, Andy and Franklin, Robert Arthur 2008. Four rumours and an explanation: A political economic account of journalists' changing newsgathering and reporting practices. Journalism Practice 2 (1) , pp. 27-45. 10.1080/17512780701768493

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Our analysis of 2207 domestic news reports in a structured sample of UK quality (the Guardian, The Times, the Independent and the Telegraph) and mid-market (Daily Mail) newspapers, revealed journalists' extensive use of copy provided by public relations sources and news agencies, especially the UK-based Press Association. A political economic explanation for this reliance on news stories produced outside the newsroom, draws inspiration from Gandy's notion of information subsidies and presents findings from a substantive content analysis of selected UK national newspapers, interviews with journalists working on national titles and news agencies, as well as detailed archival analysis of UK newspaper companies' annual accounts across 20 years to deliver information about newspapers' profitability, their expansive editorial pagination as well as the number of journalists they employ. The argument here is that this reliance on public relations and news agency copy has been prompted by the need for a relatively stable community of journalists to meet an expansive requirement for news in order to maintain newspapers' profitability in the context of declining circulations and revenues.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
J Political Science > JC Political theory
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Uncontrolled Keywords: Journalism practice; Journalists; News agency copy; Newsgathering and news reporting; Profitability; Public relations
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1751-2786
Funders: Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Mediawise
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2019 02:13

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