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1 FROM INK TO SCREEN: EXAMINING NEWS DEFINITIONS IN NEWSPRINT AND ONLINE By JENNIFER BRANNOCK COX A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR T HE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012
2 2012 Jennifer Brannock Cox
3 To my husband, Jeremy, and daughter, Charlie: Your faith made me try. Your support made me able. Your love keeps me going. We did this together. I love you both.
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This study would not have been possible without the patience and assistance of my adviser, Dr. Norm Lewis His tireless work to help me improve will be reflected throughout my career, and I will be forever grateful. I am als o indebted to my committee members who have provided so much guidance and concern for my future. Dr. Kim Walsh Childers has been a wonderful educator, helping me gain confidence and experience in research. Professor Mindy McAdams gave me the opportunity to expand my teaching experience and served as an outstanding mentor furthering my knowledge of online journalism. Dr. Jo h anna Cleary has been a constant supporter, always ready with an understanding ear and excellent guidance. Dr. Jeff Lepine challenged me and always provided direction when I needed it. I would also like to thank the amazing faculty and staff of the Communication Arts Department at Salisbury University Their support, guidance, and friendship throughout this process and in my first years as a faculty member have been incredible. In particular, thanks to my boss, Dr. Darrell Newton, my mentor, Dr. Haven Simmons, and my buddy, Dr. Jim Burton. My fellow graduate students at the University of Florida provided me with so much support and assistan ce, without which I never would have succeeded. Dr. Giselle Auger has been a constant friend who made me believe I was capable of achieving my goals. Dr. Maria De Moya, Dr. Vanessa Bravo, Amy Martenelli, Angie Lindsey, and so many others helped me through with their understanding, camaraderie, and knowledge, and I am so thankful for them. Also, special thanks to Jennifer Baker, who has provided a sympathetic ear and amazing friendship for many, many years.
5 I will be eternally indebted for my amazing family and friends who believed in me and tolerated my stress throughout the past several years. My parents, Jim and Mindy Brannock and Barbara and Richard Albury, never pushed me to succeed they just knew that I would. They, along with and my father and mother in law, Christine and Richard Cox, have loved and supported me every step of the way, and I am so grateful. I would also like to thank my remarkable siblings: James and Joshua Brannock, Nathaniel and Julianne Albury, Valerie Gauthier and Jason Cox Each of you has inspired me to be the best I can be and to make you proud. You make me proud every day. Most of all, I am so blessed to be married to a wonderful partner and friend, Jeremy Cox. He has sacrificed so much to make my dreams come true, and I will never be able to thank him enough. God has blessed us so richly with an amazing daughter, Charlie, who fortunately will not remember all of my long nights in the office but will benefit from the strong foundation we have worked so hard to provide for her. I love you both with all my heart.
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 8 L IST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 9 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 12 Purpose of t he Study ................................ ................................ .............................. 12 Justification for the Study ................................ ................................ ........................ 15 Similar Studies ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 19 Study Definitions ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 20 Criteria for Selecting News Organizations ................................ .............................. 23 News Organizations ................................ ................................ ................................ 27 San Francisco, California ................................ ................................ ................. 28 Seattle, Washington ................................ ................................ ......................... 29 New Haven, Connecticut ................................ ................................ .................. 29 Tucson, Arizona ................................ ................................ ............................... 30 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 33 Why News Definitions Matter ................................ ................................ .................. 33 News Values ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 35 News Topics ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 40 The Social Construction of News ................................ ................................ ............ 44 Organizational Socialization ................................ ................................ ............. 44 Journalism Structures ................................ ................................ ....................... 46 Differences Between Print and Online ................................ ................................ .... 50 Assessing Reader Preferences ................................ ................................ ........ 50 Subscriptions Versus Page Views ................................ ................................ .... 53 Th eory of the Firm ................................ ................................ ............................ 54 Hypotheses and Research Questions ................................ ................................ .... 58 Breaking News ................................ ................................ ................................ 59 News Values ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 60 News Topics ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 66 Sourcing ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 72 Storytelling Featu res ................................ ................................ ........................ 73
7 3 METHOD ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 78 Content Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 78 Pilot Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 80 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 81 Code Book Categories ................................ ................................ ............................ 82 Coding ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 85 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 87 Breaking News ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 87 News Values ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 90 Hypotheses and Research Questions ................................ .............................. 90 News Values Within Publication Cities ................................ ............................. 96 News Topics ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 96 Hypotheses and Research Questions ................................ .............................. 97 News Topics Within Publication Cities ................................ ........................... 103 Sourc es ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 103 Presentation of Information ................................ ................................ ................... 1 07 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 115 Meaningful Distinctions in News Definitions ................................ .......................... 115 More Alike Than Different ................................ ................................ ..................... 117 Common Roots ................................ ................................ .............................. 119 Organizational Socialization ................................ ................................ ........... 121 Journalism Structures ................................ ................................ ..................... 122 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 124 Future Research ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 127 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 129 APPENDIX : CODE BOOK ................................ ................................ .......................... 134 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 140 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 165
8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Distribution of news items within publications grouped by city ......................... 108 4 2 The percentage of crime and accident/disaster/public safety items containing breaking news by organization type ................................ ................................ 109 4 3 Descriptive chart of the total number of items containing each news value. ..... 110 4 4 Presence of values within news items by p ublication type. .............................. 111 4 5 Distribution of news topics among all items collected. ................................ ...... 112 4 6 Presence of topics within news items by pu blication type. ............................... 113 4 7 The percentage of news items containing each storytelling feature by organization type ................................ ................................ .............................. 114
9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1 1 Study criteria for the selection of organizations ................................ .................. 32 2 1 News values from textbooks and studies ................................ ........................... 76 2 2 News topics from studies ................................ ................................ .................... 77
10 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy FROM INK TO SCREEN: EXAMINING NEWS DEFINITIONS IN NEWSPRINT AND ONL INE By Jennifer Brannock Cox December 2012 Chair: Norman Lewis Cochair: Kim Walsh Childers Major: Mass Communication The Internet enables journalists to track what people are reading and permits readers to customize their news consumption using search e ngines. New technologies also allow news organizations to interact with readers and engage them in different ways. As newspapers include more content online and competitors with limited print offerings emerge, has the shift from print to websites changed h ow these organizations define news? The theory of the firm assumes companies will act in their own financial best interests, potentially leading news organizations to include more topics and news values that appeal to their readers when defining news. Res earch indicates online readers favor different topics and values a nd expect interactivity and new forms of engagement potentially leading to differences in how journalists define news, compile sources and what tools they employ to tell stories. A quanti tative content analysis was used to analyze two constructed five day 965) in the print and online editions of newspaper organizations and those in w eb only organizations Four cities each containing an
11 organization producing it ems in print four or more days a week and another producing online content only were selected for the study, for a total of eight organizations. Coders examined items for the presence of breaking news, topics, news values, source types, and storytelling features. While some differences were revealed, the data indicate w eb only and newspaper organizations define news nearly identically. Although the w eb only publications vary in their origin, with some having evolved from the remains of now non existent ne wspapers and others having started from scratch, they appear to be largely replicating the definitions and values traditionally embraced by their newspaper counterparts. Socialization theory and journalism structures may help explain the similarities, as m any w eb only news organizations are staffed and managed by former print journalists who would have learned what topics, values, and sources to favor from previous newspaper employers.
12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Purpose of the Study Has the shift of newspap er journalism from print to websites changed how news is defined? Are different news values and topics used more frequently in newsprint than online? New features detailing what news items score page views and new audience methods for finding news online m ay be prompting more news organizations to alter their content in hope of garnering a spot atop the first page on search engines, potentia lly leading to more coverage of items that frequently earn those spots, such as entertainment and helpfulness features and less coverage of government and social issues. However, lingering needs to appeal to print subscribers may lead to differences in content among news organizations with print products and those without. The purpose of this study was to explore potenti al content differences in newsprint and online as journalists seek to define news in ways that most benefit their organizations. The audience shift from print to online, facilitated by rapid adoption of the Internet in the United States reached a turnin g point in 2008. Then, for the first time, more respondents said they got their national and international news from online sources than from newspapers ( Pew Research Center for the People & the Press 2008). Newspapers have been online since 1992, when th e Chicago Tribune launched its service on America Online ( Salwen, Garrison, & Driscoll, 2005 ). By 2000, 3,161 North American newspapers had websites in addition to their print editions (Chyi & Sylvie, 2000 ). The audience transition to online sources has be en so dramatic that some news organizations, such as the Christian Science Monitor the Seattle Post Intelligencer and the Ann Arbor News have significantly curtail ed or eliminated their ink on paper
13 editions in favor of online news delivery. Other newsp apers have shuttered, such as the Rocky Mountain News and the Tucson Citizen in 2009 ( Kaplan, 2009 ). In fall of 2012, New Orleans became the largest city in the U.S. without a daily newspaper (Chiodo, 2012), and media analysts predict others, such as San F rancisco, Miami, Minneapolis or Cleveland, may not be far behind ( Lieberman, 2009 ). While the Internet has fueled a shift in news consumption from newsprint to online, it has also spawned new, online only news operations. One of the first Interne t only ne ws sites was Slate an online news magazine founded June 24, 1996 (Plotz, 2006). By 2010, the American Society of News Editors counted 58 online only news sites in existence in the United States (Romenesko, 2010). Some online news sites, such as The Forum of New Hampshire, have arisen where daily newspapers didn't exist. Other sites, such as the Lincoln (Nebraska) New Voices focusing on minorities, have been started to fill gaps in coverage by local newspapers. Still others, such as the New Haven (Connectic ut) Independent the New Jersey Newsroom and the St. Louis Beacon have been created to compete with a local newspaper. Unlike newsprint operations that require a large amount of capital to initiate, online only news operations can begin and operate on a shoestring ( Carlson, 2009 ). For example, Brattleboro, Vermont, with a population of just 12,000, has, in addition to a daily newspaper, a long established citizen journalism website that relies on contributions from the audience, iBrattleboro and a newer website staffed with professional journalists, the Valley Post The low barriers to entry created by the Internet mean that news is likely to continue to migrate from print to online.
14 The growth of news online is more than just a change in distribution bec ause online news creates expectations a bout the freshness of the news. Instead of waiting for a new edition of the newspaper delivered every 24 hours, readers expect news online to be updated continually and new information to be offered shortly after it o ccurs ( Nguyen, 2010 ). Some news organizations track unique visitors by th e hour or by the story and regularly alert journalists of the popularity of their stories ( MacGregor, 2007 ). Journalists have learned that online viewers are drawn by fresh news, or w hat journalists call breaking news ( Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2010; Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009 ) which usually involves items about crime or accidents and disasters ( Cotter, 2010; Shoemaker, 2006 ). An online emphas is on breaking news t hat draws w eb hits is reinforced by a shift in the advertising business model that supports journalism. When ink on paper was king, newspapers in North America built their revenue model on a readership that purchased print subscriptions. Paid circulation o ffered a relatively stable readership base, allowing newspapers to tell advertisers that their messages would be seen by a fairly consistent number of readers, regardless of the news content in any given day's edition. However, readership online can fluctu ate throughout the day, driven by factors such as referrals from search engines and other sites (Kirchoff 2010) but sometimes by breaking news. In this new environment, the number of potential readers viewing advertis ements is not built on a fairly consis tent base of subscribers but by the number of people who are drawn to a website at any given time. In some cases, advertising rates are set by how many unique users or page views may be generated, or by "click through" of users on an advertisement with an embedded hyperlink ( Cohn, 2008 ). At the
15 same time, advertising online generates only a fraction of the comparable revenue per thousand figures of conventional run of press ads or advertising circulars in print editions because competition for ads is steepe r online than in print ( Langeveld 2009; Mings & White, 2000 ). Thus, news organizations online have a financial incentive to produce the kind of journalism that draws large numbers of users even if those numbers fluctuate hourly The theory of the firm ca n be used to predict potential differences in content based on organization type. The theory posits that the goal of any organization is to obtain profits (Foss, Lando, & Thomsen, 1999; Hoskins, McFadyen, & Finn, 2002). Given this knowledge, it was predict ed that news organizations publish ing primarily online may produce content that is different from those that publish daily print products based on reader preferences. Organizations with daily newsprint products must appeal to subscribers to generate profit s (Langeveld, 2009). Organizations that publish primarily online cannot appeal to a steady subscriber base. Instead, these organizations must consistently publish content that will draw readers to their websites to generate a profit. A content analysis w as used to determine if news content differed among three types of news publications: the printed and the online versions of newspapers, and news organizations that exist only online. Content produced over two constructed weeks was evaluated for potential differences in news values, news topics, storytelling features and sources. Justification for the Study The purpose of this study wa s to compare the content of online news sites and the content of print newspapers to determine whether the definition of ne ws is changing.
16 A shift in focus from news items that attract subscribers to those that attract page views online co uld lead readers to have a different understanding of the world in which they live and interact The ways in which readers view their world and subsequently make decisions to participate in their communities are often influenced by news consumption. Research has shown that media consumers use news reports to gauge how pervasive specific social problems may be in their communities, particularly those related to crime and violence, and the extent to which those issues may impact their lives (Morgan & Shanahan, 2010). Studies have also linked newspaper readership to community involvement, suggesting that informed citizens may be more inclined to p articipate in their communities (Edelstein and Larsen, 1960; Janowitz, 1967; Putnam, 2000; Stamm, 1985). Some have speculated that the ease of using interactive tools online may be altering how news is defined Scholars have argued that the Internet ha s opened up possibilities for journalists to communicate with reader s in new ways, helping them to unearth a greater range of sources and improve coverage by gaining fe edback from readers (Boczkowski 2004; Pavlik, 2000; Singer, in publication). Reader par ticipation online through comment sections, forums, and content contributed by readers may help journalists break away from routines that limit their ability to define news in different ways (Singer, in publication) P roviding readers the opportunity to qu estion jo urnalists about their reporting and writing, and about the event itself, may lead to new and better defined news pieces (Singer, in press ) Media watchdogs and scholars have also pointed to crowdsourcing online, or posting raw data directly onli ne to allow readers to mine information themselves as a new means of defining news (Muthukumaraswamy,
17 2010; Yahr, 2007). E xperiments in using sources gathered via social media at some news sites have resulted in the generation of new story ideas and the c ollection of a diverse array of sources (Rogers, 2011). Evolving digital technologies are also changing the way readers consume news, potentially affecting the types of topics on which news organizations report and focus. Readers now have the ability to access news online almost anytime and anywhere using mobile devices. This ability is most utilized to access breaking news items that readers believe they need to know immediately (Niles, 2011). Before the arrival of the Internet, news organizations relied on readership surveys to discover which types of stories garnered the most interest from readers. The ability of news organizations to access readership information on individual online stories, including the number of viewers clicking on the story and th e amount of time they spent on the page, makes it easier to recognize what stories readers click on and share most frequently (Domingo, 2008). In addition, m any news organizations post a list of the most popular stories of the (Berger & Milkman, 2010). The placement of reader preferred stories on the homepage may lead readers to focus more on those stories rather than others that do not generate as much universal interest. The Internet has greatly expanded news options for co nsumers. Customizable news websites like Reddit allow readers to tailor the news they get online to their personal interests Online readers can also search for specific news they want using Internet search engines. As a result, some news organizations h ave encouraged search engine optimization tactics that will help generate the most interest in their stories (Garfield, 2011b). Journalists may now steer away from clever headlines
18 reveal the meaning of the story and favor more direct headlines filled with popular search terms and proper nouns. Some online news sites, such as The Huffington Post and Slate have successfully drawn readers from search websites by altering their content to include frequently searched topics. For example, The Huffing ton Post managed to secure a spot atop the first page of results of several search engines on the 2011). The article featured only basic information, including the starti ng time for the game, the teams playing, and the network on which the game would be broadcast and the sole reason for its publication was to generate page views for the site Migrating readership has the potential to change the content mix, prompting org anizations to focus more on topics and news values that are likely to attract the most readers. Studies have shown online reader s for community news sites are most likely to click on stories related to crime and violence (Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009) and or ganizations hoping to generate traffic online often feature breaking news stories about various types of accidents and collisions to entice readers (Barnhurst, 2009). The availability of readership metrics online has also driven some news producers to focu s on story topics and values that generate page views (Domingo, 2008). Stories featuring celebrities and entertainment topics tend to attract greater numbers of readers than some other general news topics, like politics, health, and education leading to t he creation of entertainment news sites, such as Gawker and TMZ This emphasis on popularity over significance in news definitions may affec t online of their world. In accordance with cultivation theory, organizations that emphasiz e news involving crime and violence may prompt
19 consumers to believe that the world is a more violent place than it actually is (Romer, Jamieson, & Aday, 2006). News products lacking stories about social issues and government may be failing to provide infor mation that citizens need to function in society (Stovall, 2005). Even though these are not new concerns (Postman, 1985; Schudson, 2003), they have been heightened by the growth of the Internet. Because the shift of journalism from print to online may be altering how news is defined, t he results of this study could be important for both professionals and academics. An acknowledgment of differing definitions may prompt leaders in media organizations to examine the news they are conveying more closely an d make decisions about th eir content in print and online that appeal to their readers on different mediums This study may also answer the questions posed by academics who have speculated about whether the definition of news is changing as a result of this print to online shift (Garfield, 2011a). Similar Studies While some studies have examined elements of potential differences in news definitions in print and online (Hollander, 2010; Maier, 2010 a ), no published academic research could be found that has stu died comparable organizations in detail A study by Berger and Milkman (2010) illuminated specific attributes that make online news stories popular, including those that are awe inspiring or that induce anger or anxiety. These results prompted Milkman to p onder the next logical question during a radio interview: Is this knowledge provoking news organizations to alter their online content (Garfield, 2011a)? Similarly, Schaudt and Carpenter (2009) examined news topics and values online, looking at the most re ad and shared stories in online local, web only publications in Arizona. Their study looked at some topics and values preferred by online readers.
20 However, the study did not compare print and online topics and values preferred by online readers, nor did it examine the content produced by those types of organizations. Studies conducted by Maier (2010 a ) and by researchers for the Project for Excellence in Journalism (2008) came the closest to examining content differences based on organizational type. Maie a ) study examined news definitions among print and online news organizations and found that five national news sites featured fewer in depth stories than traditional newspapers did Similarly, the Project for Excellence in Journalism (2008) sought to discover content differences among various media at the national level, including print newspapers, online only organizations, and television and radio stations. However, neither of these studies did much to examine comparable news organizations. For e xample, newspapers ranging in size from large ( The New York Times ) to small ( The Bakersfield Californian ) were grouped together and compared with large websites, most of which primarily aggregate rather than produce their own news content, including Yahoo! News and Google News (Maier, 2010a; Project for Excellence in Journalism, 2008) These studies also examined several national and international news topics, such as United States foreign affairs and immigration that do not often appear in publications fo cused primarily on producing local content. Study Definitions An evaluation of how news definitions may be shifting online first re quired distinguishing between newsprint and online organizations because the lines between the two have become less distinct in recent years. Many newspaper organizations are increasingly focused more on their online editions, requ iring that journalists ad opt a w eb first mentality. This way of thinking, also referred to as reverse publishing,
21 encourages journalists to first cons ider what text, multimedia, and other elements can 2011). The Tampa Tribune was one of the first newspapers to adopt this approach, converging its print and w eb opera tions and training all reporters to gather news especially breaking news for online in 2008 (Jarvis, 2008). Since then, newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post as well as those owned by the Gannett corporation and many others, have organized continuous news desks staffed by journalists whose main job is to produce and update breaking news for the online edition 24 hours a day (Grabowicz, 2011; Hillkirk 2009). Further blurring the line between newsprint and online organizations is the fact that a few online organizations also have printed products Politico a n online niche publication focused on government and politics, had about 6 million unique users per month as of the summer of 2009, but editors reported that a significant amou nt of the advertising in the print edition, which is available in Washington D.C. five days a week when Congress is in session and far less often when it is not (Wolff, 2009). Even some newspapers that have made the move f rom publishing in print and online to publishing almost entirely online retain a print edition. The Christian Science Monitor is one of these that dropped its daily print offering to focus primarily on publishing online. Yet the Monitor now publishes a pri nt magazine available via subscription (Edmonds, 2008). Four daily newspapers three in Alabama and The Times Picayune in Louisiana also took the plunge in June 2012, pledging to focus more of their efforts online while retaining their print offerings t hree days a week. The evolving nature of the industry that has led media organizations to experiment with
22 different means of distributing their content makes distinguishing newsprint from online organizations challenging but essential for the study of chan ging news definitions. As a result of the d ua l focus on print and online publishing, many news organizations cannot simply be referred to as print or online. However, two types of organizations may be distinguished from each other based on their print pub lication schedules. For the purposes of this study, those organization s publishing both print and web products will be referred to as s Organizatio ns that do not publish a print product will be called web only As it is the purpose of this study to identify potential differences in news content among newspaper and web only organizations, elaboration on what is meant by news content is essential ( Jettinger 1921, p. 23) though not everything that happens makes the newspaper people of items occurring throughout the world that might or might not affect their lives or help them make decisions ( Berkowitz 1997) (Schudson, 2003, p. 12), with journalistic activity referring to reporting for the purposes of increasing awareness of an event or issues. It is based on this explanation that news content for this study was defined. News items selected for the study include d any text, photos, headlines, videos, graphics, or multimedia elements containing the reporting of an event or issue Commercial i tems that intended to advertise products or services and content that is t he result of a sale made by the news organization such as real estate listings, classified ads, and paid obituaries, w ere not considered news content.
23 Criteria for Selecting News Organizations In order to select organizations that were comparable, crite ria were established to limit the revelation of differences based on variables other than those used in the study (as shown in Figure 1 1). In order to compare newspaper and web only organizations that publish similar content, only those focused on general interest topics were included in this study. Although several studies have used the phrase general interest or general news content ( Herbert & Thurman, 2007; Lavie et al., 2010; Plopper, 1991), al interest Plopper (1991) constructed his measure of general news content from the sections of newspapers, suggesting that general news content is that which appears most frequently in news products. Several studies provid ing lists of news topics were e valuated (Beam, 2008; Maier, 2010 a ; Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2008; Readership Institute, 2003 ; Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009 ) and a list of 10 commonly used topics emerged: crime, business, sp orts, education, entertainment, safety/disas ters/accidents, lifestyle, health, government/politics, and religion. Organizations that provide d coverage of at least eight of the 10 topics or about 80 percent, were considered to provide general interest content. This resulted in the exclusion of some organizations that neglected three or more of these topics, including MinnPost an online only news site in Minneapolis that does not cover crime, sports, or entertainment (Edmonds, 2011), and St. Louis Beacon an online only news site that neglects crime, sports, and business topics. Newspaper and web only organizations may also display content dissimilarities based on the range of their geographic focus, which could lead to false conclusions regarding differences in news definitions. An examination of o rganizations focused
24 primarily on local content, as opposed to national or international content, offer similar content to compare how newspaper and web only organizations define news. Organizations focused on national or international items emphasize diff erent topics and appeal to different audiences than those focused on covering smaller geographic areas, such as cities and small states. For example, The New York Times and The Huffington Post try to attract readers with content that appeals to people thro ughout the United States, whereas organizations like the Seattlepi and The Seattle Times provide some national and international news stories but focus primarily on providing news that affects readers in the Seattle area. Needs to appeal to larger or small er audiences may result in varying news definitions based on geographic reach rather than organization type. Therefore, only organizations that focus primarily on local or regional coverage were sought for this study. Similarly, one newspaper and one web only organization meeting the established criteria had to be present in the same geographic area in order to compare the two organization types. The geographic area that news organizations cover generally includes one or two large cities, as well as surro unding smaller cities and towns (Lacy & Davenport 1994). Many news organizations have coverage areas with cities and towns that overlap those of other organizations. For example, the online only news site GablesHomePage focuses on the mid sized Florida ci ty of Coral Gables. Although the site targets an area that overlaps with those targeted by two newspapers, The Miami Herald and Sun Sentinel neither newspaper focuses primarily on Coral Gables, skewing the comparison of content between those organizations
25 Organizations focused mainly on producing local news as opposed to those that exist primarily to aggregate and display content generated by other sources better suit ed the purpose of this study to examine news production decisions made by journalists The selection of aggregated content by organizations can convey how they define news (Donsbach, 2004), and many media companies publish news from wire services and other similar content sources. However, looking at organizations that produce most of thei r own local content offers greater opportunities for variance as content producers who are affected by organizational routines for defining news have more control over what is produced Therefore, organizations that aggregate more than half of their conten t from other sources were not considered for this study. Only organizations publishing content a minimum of five days a week were considered for this study. Newspaper organizations must have published a print product at least five days a week to have been considered for the study. Organizations publishing content less frequently were excluded to avoid differences that could be generated by publication frequency. Similarly, only newspaper organizations that charge for print subscriptions were considered fo r the study because the content provided by free newspapers differs from that produced by paid circulation newspapers. Researchers found weekly paid circulation newspapers provided more news features, columns, and editorials than free weekly newspapers (Hu nt & Cheney, 1982). These differences in news definitions based on circulation make dailies and weeklies dissimilar For this reason, organizations such as the San Francisco Examiner which covers the same metropolitan home city as The Bay Citizen and San Francisco Chronicle were not
26 considered for this study because the Examiner distributes its print edition six days a week for free to select neighborhoods throughout San Francisco (Weir, 2009). News organizations in which the majority of the published content is produced by unpaid news producers or freelancers likely define news differently from those who rely more heavily on staff writers to produce local content (Roach, 2012) Journalists working in media organizations learn to define news based on o rganizational goals (Breed, 1955). Freelancers and citizens who are not bound by organizational rules and goals may define news differently from those working for media organizations that use a staff driven model to produce local news. As this is a study o f organizations rather than journalists, only organizations with enough employees to allow for the possibility of news being negotiated within an organization were included (Tuchman, 1988) As a result of this criteri on, many online only publications that Patch.com were excluded. Patch.com typically hires one full time employee to run each news site, and most of the news content is produced by freelancers. The one full time employee is often overwhelmed with running the 24/7 website and re lies heavily on whatever items online each day (Carlson, 2011), leading to potential differences in news definitions based on the individuals producing the content rath er than the organization as a whole Many web only start up organizations have fewer resources than established newspaper operations, making disparities in staff sizes unavoidable. However, this study will examine percentages of news topics, news values, sources, and storytelling
27 features to reduce some of that disparity that would have exist ed using absolute numbers. News Organizations A census of a given population is preferred for academic studies, but the quickly evolving nature of electronic news ren ders the determination of a census of online news publications at any given time difficult When studying content in newspapers, scholars typically have a centralized list of organizations from which they can sample. Regularly updated lists of all newspape rs in the country or world, such as International Yearbook are often used for the purposes of identifying organizations to study (Funk, 2010). However, Jan Schaffer, executive director of J:Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journal ism said such comprehensive lists are not available for online news sites as no one has yet designed criteria for determini ng what qualifies as a news site ( personal communication, April 13, 2011 ) Also, organizations that might be considered news sites l aunch (and expire) frequently as a result of the low barriers to entry online. Only two lists of web only organizations could be found, though neither list could be considered a population. A list of 61 web only news organizations in the United States w as obtained from the American Society of News Editors (2010) from its study of diversity at online news organizations. The Guide to Online Startups (2010), an online news site catalog from Columbia Journalism Review was also used in April 2011 to search f or news organizations that meet the criteria of the study. From these lists, four pairs of newspapers and web only news organizations were chosen because they were the only ones in spring 2011 known to meet the criteria for the study. These four may not b e a census of all comparable organizations, though these were the only publications found to fit the criteria as of May 2011. Similar studies
28 have used the same number of organizations or fewer in determining differences in news definitions (Maier, 2010 a ; Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009) The four pairs of organizations selected for this study were: The Bay Citizen and San Francisco Chronicle ; Seattlepi and The Seattle Times ; New Haven Independent and New Haven Register ; and TucsonSentinel and Arizona Daily Star San Francisco, California The San Francisco Chronicle began publishing in 1865. The organization launched its online edition, SFGate.com in 1993 to complement its daily print edition. The Chronicle was owned by the de Young family until it was purchase d in 2000 by the Hearst Corporation, which also owned the rival publication, the San Francisco Examiner Hearst merged the operations and staffs of the two publications and published solely as the Chronicle (Weir, 2009). The Chronicle provides general As of 2011, t he organization employ ed about 150 journalists (Sfgate, 2011). The Bay Citizen launched its web only news product in May 2010. The organization also provides content two days a week for a r egional edition of The New York Times The Citizen is a non profit organization funded through major gifts, community support, content licensing, corporate sponsorship and online advertising (Tenore, 2011 b ) Like the Chronicle, the Citizen focuses on cove Area. As of 2011, t he Citizen employ ed 17 journalists, most of whom were hired away from major print newspapers, including The L.A. Times and The Washington Post (Tenore, 2011 b ). Both the Bay Citizen and the San Francisco Chronicle provide coverage of all 10 news topics identified as criteria for this study.
29 Seattle, Washington The Seattle Times is available daily in print and online, and it covers Seattle and much of northwest Washington. The newspaper is the flagship for the Bleth en family owned publications. T he Blethen family has owned the newspaper since its creation in 1896 (The Seattle Times Company, 2010). Although the Times partners with local bloggers and news websites to produce some content, as of 2011, its 150 journalist s provide d Times, 2011). Seattlepi formerly the Seattle Post Intelligencer ended its daily print edition in 2009 after 146 years Starting in 1983, the paper participated in a joint operating agreement with its rival, The Seattle Times placing the business sides of both publications under the control of the Times Following a dispute during which the Times sought to disband the agreement, the Hearst Corporation, which owns the Seattlepi attempted to sell the paper after nine years of ownership ( Editor & Publisher 2 009) Failing in that effort, the agreement was dissolved, and the Seattlepi transformed into an online only news product (Yardley & Prez Pea, 2009). As of 2011, a staff of about 2 0 full time journalists provided news content for the online only publication, along with community bloggers and contributors Both the Seattlepi and The Seattle Times provide coverage of all 10 news topics identified as criteria for this study. New Haven, Connecticut The New Haven Register was founded in 1812 and is one of 27 daily newspapers owned by the Journal Register Company. The Register provides news content about New Haven and Middlesex counties, and some of Fairfield County (New H aven Register 201 1 ) About 65 journalists work to produce the daily print newspaper and
30 website (M. Brackenbury, personal communication, April 13, 2011). Journal Register Company filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and emerged as a reorganized company six months later (Fitzgerald & Saba, 2009). The New Haven Independent is a not for profit news site also covering the New Haven area Begun in 2006 by veteran newspaper journalist Paul Bass, its goal is to mimic the journalistic standards set by newspaper organiza tions as an online only product (Drew, 2006). The Independent is funded through grants from the Online Journalism Project, in addition to contributions from readers and local organizations. The New Haven Independent does not provide coverage of sports item s, whereas the New Haven Register does. Both organizations cover the remaining nine topics used as criteria for this study. Tucson, Arizona The Arizona Daily Star was founded in 1877 and purchased by Lee Enterprises when it bought the Pulitzer Company in 2 005. Like the Seattle newspapers, the Star participated in a joint operating agreement with its rival, the Tucson Citizen until the Citizen ended its print operations in 2009 (Strupp, 2009). The Citizen still publishes some stories online, but it primaril y acts as an aggregator for larger news partners. The Star has about 100 journalists who provide general news content for the daily print edition and website, and its coverage area includes Tucson and several southern Arizona counties (T. Hayt, personal co mmunication, July 26, 2011). Lee Enterprises was unable to meet payments on debt incurred to acquire Pulitzer, and it entered a pre packaged bankruptcy with its major creditors to renegotiate loan terms in 2011 (Reuters, 2011)
31 TucsonSentinel is a non pr ofit news site founded in 2010 by journalists who were l aid off following the closing of the 138 year old Tucson Citizen (The News Frontier Database, 2011). The online editor, Dylan Smith, founded the online only TucsonSentinel in order to contin ue the rivalry with t he Arizona Daily Star As of 2011, a bout five journalists produce d general news content for the website each day (D. Smith, personal communication, July 12, 2011). The organization relies on sponsorships, donations from reade rs, and some local advertising for revenue. Both the Arizona Daily Star and TucsonSentinel provide coverage of all 10 news topics identified as criteria for this study.
32 Study criteria Must cover eight of 10 general interest topics: crime, business, spor ts, education, entertainment, safety/disasters/accidents, lifestyle, health, government/politics, and religion Focus primarily on local content Both organization types focused primarily on same geographic area/home city Focus primarily on local news rather than aggregating Must publish a minimum of five days a week Must charge for print subscriptions Majority of local content must be produced by full time staff rather than freelancers or citizens Figure 1 1. Study criteria for the selection o f organizations
33 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Why News Definitions Matter their world. The definition build a world perceptions of a wide range of phenomena, including the state of the economy (Bachl, 2009), the sa fety of the food that they consume (Fleming, Thorson, & Zhang, 2006), social issues and presidential candidates (Ha, 2005). Studies of media content can help researchers suggest possible effects or lead to predictions about effects on readers. Determining how news is defined by organizations can provide clues regarding human behavior based on what news items readers are consuming (Shoemaker & Reese, 1996). Journalists not only report about reality but also help in its creation, which can greatly impact ho w readers think about events and their actions following those events (Schudson, 2003). Disproportional coverage of a particular issue can lead readers to have misguided perceptions about the importance of the problem highlighted (Vasterman, 2005). During these periods of media created interest in a topic, news organizations can create perceptions about events that may not be accurate Vasterman (2005) explored a case in The Netherlands in the 1990s in whi ch the murder of a young man le d to many Dutch media organizations highlighting similar violent crimes. Although crime had not increased significantly, the extensive media coverage led people to believe that they were in the grip of a crime wave. Citizens and officials
34 took action to reverse the perceived t rend, instigating new zero tolerance policies, installing security cameras, and organizing protests, conferences, and forums to discuss solutions even though crime statistics had not actually risen dramatically Similarly, Lawrence and Mueller (2003) studi ed media High School massacre, news outlets increased their coverage of school violence, causing parents to believe falsely that the number of such episodes was on the rise (Lawrence & Mueller, 2003). Similarly, one study revealed increased news v iewing leads parents to overestimate the prevalence of crime in their communities. Parents who watch more news on television also passed t heir crime fears along to their children through increased verbal warnings about crime and violence (Busselle, 2003). This effect that news coverage ha s on reader s is best described by cultivation theory, which posits that those who consume more media wi ll perceive the real world to reflect that which is portrayed in the media (Morgan & Shanahan, 2010 ; Romer, Jamieson, & Aday, 2003 ). Although generally applied to television some studies have argued the theory may be applied to newspapers, as well McManu s (1991) argued television news is habitually a regurgitation of what appears in newspapers, and newspapers are just as likely to emphasize crime the subject of several cultivation studies as television news. Studies have shown violent crimes are often just as over emphasized by newspaper organizations as they are in television (Jones, 1976; Kanis, 1991; Reber & Chang, 2000). Another study examined cultivation effects of ethnic crime stories in newspapers and discovered people in communities with newspa pers that
35 emphasize ethnic crimes are more likely to perceive minorities as threatening ( Lubbers, Schee pers, & Vergeer, 2000) News coverage of other topics, such as health and politics, has also been known to affect public perception of issues. In 1994, Australian news media provided detailed, by a doctor who was HIV positive to ensure they were not infected with the disease (Brown, Chapman, & Lupton, 1996). The abundan ce of coverage resulted in some panic among readers who believed the risk of contracting HIV through such contact was high despite a consensus among medical experts that those patients faced very little risk from their operation. More recently, an April, 2 011, poll conducted by CBS News and The New York Times revealed one in four Americans believed President B ar ack Obama was born in Kenya which would make him ineligible to serve as president (Condon, 2011). Obama blamed the media for devoting too much of t heir coverage during the week he presented his U.S. birth certificate in a press conference (consuming 4% of the news coverage from April 11 17, 2011), arguing the story was a media produced distraction from more important issues, such as the economy (Moos 2011). News Values Identifying News Values Many scholars have agreed that the determination of which items may be defined as news is often based on the presence of values such as timeliness, proximity, and prominence (Cotter, 2010; Galtung & Ruge, 1963 ; Gibbs & Warhover, 2002; Gilligan 2006; Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009 ; Yopp & McAdams, 2007 ). News values have been
36 guide journalists to recognize which information is important to include in their stories (Yopp & McAdams, 2007 ) Although many news values are recognized as being important in the news defining process, not all values need to be present for an item to be selected as news. Often the presence of only one news value may be enough to prompt journalists to deem an item worthy of publication. Journalism textbooks and studies that list news values typically agree on several news values that help journalists d efine items as news (see Figure 2 1). Following her review of five journalism textbooks, Cotter (2010) identified three news values that appear to be the most often cited: timeliness, proximity, and prominence. A review of two journalism textbooks ( Gibbs & Warhover, 2002 ; Yopp & McAdams, 2007 ) and two academic studies of news values ( Gilligan 2006; Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009 ) also showed agreement on those three values as well as on a fourth: conflict. Eight news values were selected for this study based o n this brief sample of textbooks and studies: timeliness, proximity, prominence, conflict, oddity, human interest, magnitude, and helpfulness. Four of these (timeliness, proximity, prominence, and conflict) were included given their near universal inclusio n in the reviewed textbooks and studies. The other four news values appeared frequently in two or more of the reviewed texts. The oddity news value is sometimes referred to as novelty (Gilligan, 2006). Either oddity or novelty appeared as news values in al l four of the texts reviewed The news value magnitude was also identified by three of the four reviewed sources as being a commonly recognized news value. H uman interest was included by name by two sources ( Gibbs & Warhover, 2002 ; Schaudt & Carpenter, 200 9 ) and was referred to by a third as
37 emotional impact (Yopp & McAdams, 2007). Two sources also identified helpfulness as a news value ( Gibbs & Warhover, 2002 ; Gilligan, 2006), although Gilligan (2006) called it Defining News Values Ti decision to pursue and publish a story at a particular time was based on the nearness of o ther scheduled events ( Gilligan 2006, p. 5) For instance, a news organization may run a story about a festival near the time of the event because that is when it is most relevant. Immediacy is also a form of timeliness. Events that are in progress or hav e just occurred are referred to as breaking news items. Breaking news is often associated with developing unexpected news, including car crashes, political conflict, scandals, and death. Shoemaker (2006) argued that the worse developments become, the more likely they are to become news. Events of a less serious nature may also be characterized as breaking news based on their timeliness, including some entertainment and sports news items Shoemaker (2006) wrote that the urgency of these events make them appe aling to readers. Prominence relates to people and organizations that are well known and therefore receive coverage in most situations, including actors, the president of the United States, and any major U.S. organization (Cotter, 2010). People in prom inent positions rarely require much description in news stories other than their name and title and often include government officials, celebrities, and athletes ( Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009 ). Prominent government officials are typically those involved in ma king policy
38 decisions for the local, state, or federal government. This also include s those in positions of authority responsible for governing organizations, such as university presidents, law enforcement chiefs, or school board members. Celebrities inclu de well known people in prominent field s such as politics, or entertainment (Boorstin, 1961). Celebrities are most often identified as people in the entertainment field ( Chia & Poo, 2008). Therefore, musicians and individuals acting in or producing movies television shows, and theater were considered prominent for this study. Professional a thletes were considered prominent if they are well known to readers in that they are often in the news 2010, p. 69). P roximity refers to events occurring within the coverage area of a news organization ( Gilligan 2006). Organizations often define their own coverage area. However, proximity is not always limited to the geographic locatio n of an event. Stories featuring this news value may also include non local occurrences that impact readers locally. For example, coverage of the Affordable Health Care Act championed by President Barack Obama and enacted in 2010 was not considered proxima te, but a Conflict in a news story refers to any disagreement between two or more groups or individuals (Gibbs & Warhover, 2002; Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009). Reporters often present conflict in an article by presentin g opposing sides of an issue or differing possibilities (Gans, 1979; Tuchman, 1972). Conflict range s from simple disputes between neighbors to public outcry against government policies. News organizations sometimes emphasize conflict stories based on reade featuring the news value online ( Schaudt & Carpenter 2009)
39 Items classified as oddities typically involve elements considered to be novel or out of the ordinary ( Rich, 2010 ). Readers are attracted to stories featuring curious, far fetched, or strange behavior (Gibbs & Warhover, 2002). Yopp and McAdams (2007) used a lead paragraph from an article in the Detroit Free Press to illustrate this point: rk is the concept of oddity: If a dog bites a man, it is a usual occurrence and is generally not considered news ; h owever, if a man bites a dog, the unusual behavior makes the event worthy of being defined as news (Lawrence & Mueller, 2003). The human interest news value may be found in and/or achievements (Rich, 2010). Human have done someth (Gibbs & Warhover, 2002, p. 90). Human interest stories include inspirational tales of people overcoming some adversity to achieve a goal or stories of tragedy involving loss or sadness (Gibbs & Warhover, 2002). These stories help readers relate to a topic, and, in many cases, they can be entertaining to read ( Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009 ; Yopp & McAdams, 2007). The news value magnitude is defined as the size or impact of an event (Yopp & and impact may be difficult to measure, language within the story item indicating that an event is larger than usual often provides clues to whether a news story contain s the magnitude value. For example, a story may indicate that a hurricane was the most deadly in 20 years or a festival may draw the largest crowd ever (Gibbs & Warhover,
40 2002). Magnitude also includes items that would affect the majority or substantial p ortion a story about a citywide traffic ordinance would be considered to have magnitude because it could affect a large portion of the readership giving the story magnitude. I n contrast, the installation of speed bumps on a residential road would not affect many readers either perspectives on a product, event, or idea, or a how to approach to accomp lishing something (Gilligan, 2006). Stories displaying the helpfulness value may be described as being helpful to people who are coping with challenges or striving to achieve goals in their lives (Gibbs & Warhover, 2002; Yopp & McAdams, 2007 ). These topics often relate to everyday living, including health, education, money, and philanthropy. Stories range from how to raise children to coping with depression to how to lose weight. These types of stories have been popular with readers (Bennett, 2001). News To pics Identifying News Topics Another way to categorize news content is according to topic, such as crime or education. T he news topic has been described as the central concept or main point of a story (Readership Institute, 2001). Journalists in newspaper and web only organizations may define items as news based on their topic as some news topics are read more frequently than others (Carpenter, 2010) Journalism studies that have used news topics as a measure of news definitions often agree on the inclu sion of several (see Figure 2 2). F our studies revealed agreement on four topics: crime, business, sports, and education. Ten news topics were selected for this study from those that were agreed on by a
41 majority of researchers in the studies (Beam, 2008; Maier, 2010a; Readership Institute, 2003; Schaudt & Carpenter (2009) : crime, business, sp orts, education, entertainment, safety/disasters/accidents, lifestyle, health, government/politics, and religion. Crime, business, sports, government/politics, and ed ucation were included given their universal inclusion in the reviewed studies. At least three of the four reviewed studies included the topics entertainment/arts, safety/disasters/accidents, lifestyle, health/medicine, and religion. Defining News Topics Crime often involve s a report of illegal activities or the arrest, trial or conviction of one or more parties p. 7 ) Examples of crime topics include stories about white collar crimes, corruption, criminal trends, crime deter rence, and criminal trials (Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2008). Stories regarding criminal justice, courts, or civil legal matters were also classified as crime topics (Beam, 2008; Readership Institute, 2003). Business s tories include information about businesses, companies, or organizations (Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009), as well as the economy or personal finance (Beam, 2008; Readership Institute, 2003). News items related to real estate or consumer news were categorized as business top ics (Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009), as well as commerce, transportation, labor, and workplace items (Beam, 2008). Sports stories include all levels of athletics (Beam, 2008) and feature individuals or teams participating in athletic events (Schaudt & Carpen ter, 2009). These include about sports spectators were also included as sports topics (Pew Research Center for
42 the People & the Press, 2008). Sports stories also include amateur athletics, as well as personal fitness activities such as running or yoga (Beam, 2008). E ducation stories include all public and private pre primary, primary, secondary and post secondary education (Pew Research Center for the People & the Pre ss, 2008) Education stories include employees or students of schools or school districts, events on or off campus related to schools or students, and governing bodies that make decisions regarding school policies or curriculum (Beam, 2008; Schaudt & Carp enter, 2009). Stories of student achievements and learning obstacles were also regarded as education topics, as well as items related to non athletic extracurricular clubs, including debate, drama, and service clubs that are school affiliated (Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2008). Entertainment topics include stories about media, such as movies, television, music, dancing, and various other forms of self expression (Beam, 2008; Readership Institute, 2003). Entertainment stories also rela te to personal activities, such as dining and nightlife (Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009). These stories often feature celebrities in the entertainment field, including actors, musicians, and artists (Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2008). Safe ty, disasters, and accident topics include stories regarding public safety, extreme intentional events that injure, kill or cause damage including fires, man made disasters, and other natural phenomena (Pew Research Center fo r th e People & the Press, 2008 ). Public safety refers to stories focused on the well being of an individual or a community (Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009). The lifestyle news topic encompasses a wide range of stories, including
43 philosophy, fashion, consumer pro ducts, food, travel, parenting, and pets (Pew Research different ways of life, including issues dealing with social class, values, attitudes, habits, culture and dress (Schaudt & Carpen ter, 2009). Lifestyle topics also encompass daily life issues, such as personal relations, home entertaining, recreation, and home maintenance (Beam, 2008). Health stories focus primarily on the mental, physical, or psychological well being of people ( Sc haudt & Carpenter, 2009). Items classified as health topics include health care policies and procedures, medicine, and disease. These stories may be focused on individual patients, practitioners, and administrators, as well as groups of those individuals. Health stories may impact individuals and small groups of people, or they may refer to larger health issues, including disease outbreaks, breakthroughs in medical research, and changes to health care and insurance policies (Pew Research Center for the Peop le & the Press, 2008). Government and politics stories involve issues related to city, state, or national laws and often involve elected or appointed officials (Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009). These topics also include elections at the local, state, and natio nal level, and competing political ideologies (Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2008). Civic issues, such as protests against government policies or public awareness campaigns about an issue, were also designated as government/politics topic s. Religion the study, practice or discussion of organized or personal religious convictions of any and all denominations or a member or members of y
44 information related to a deity or deities the afterlife, or the actions of religiously motivated groups (Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2008). Stories focused more on spirituality than organized religious groups were also included as re ligion topics (Readership Institute, 2003). The Social Construction of News Organizational Socialization Journalists use the presence of news values and topics to define items as news, and they learn to do this based on a process of organizational sociali zation. Organizational socialization refers to a process through which new employees in organizations learn organizational values and adapt their work habits to promote those values in ways that that may stay with them throughout their careers (Chao, et al ., 1994; Mierzjewska & Hollifield, 2006; Van Maanen & Schein, 1979). Socialization is an ongoing process through which new employees come to understand what their managers expect from them regarding their work habits, attitudes, and knowledge of the compan y and individual job functions (Major, et al., 1995). The socialization process has been revealed to have long term effects on employees that shape their perceptions of their work even as they move on to other positions (Kramer, 2010). The organizational into an organization with vocational and anticipatory stages (Kramer & Miller, 1999; Van Maanen & Schein 1979). During the vocational stage, individuals are influenced by their family, educat ional background, peers, and previous work experience regarding their choice of career and application to particular organizations. During the anticipatory stage, an individual develops impressions of his or her future work environments based
45 on preliminar y communications, including interviews, e mails, and meetings with organizational representatives. Once they are hired, new employees undergo continued socialization processes aimed at easing the stress of starting a new job and acclimating them to accept and Employees attend formal meetings and training sessions to learn what is expected of them in their work. Employees are also socialized informally, through conversations with managers and co workers, who demonstrate behaviors for a new employee to emulate or avoid (Chao, 1997). Those who are socialized to accept work routines and systems that are recognized as bringing value to the organization will gain acceptance from th eir co workers. Organizational members who do not adopt relationships and routines founded on shared values are not likely to stay at the organization for long. Research has shown individuals who are well socialized into their roles in an ha ve greater personal incomes, are more satisfied, more involved with their careers, more adaptable, and have a better sense of their personal identity than ways that allow him or her to help an organization achieve its goals tend to move upward in the organization and have less desire to leave the organization (Fisher, 1986). Thus, employees have incentives to espouse organizational goals and values for their personal benef it. During the socialization process, newcomers learn a variety of behaviors and attitudes that they are likely to carry with them throughout their career. Employees gather information about their jobs in six areas: performance proficiency, politics,
46 langu age, people, organizational goals/values, and history (Chao, et al., 1994). Performance proficiency involves learning the specific tasks a person must perform in order to properly do his or her job (Fisher, 1986). The people learning area involves a newcom er choosing the right person or people to model his or her behaviors and values organization information about workplace relationships and structures in order to successfully avoid conflict and gain acceptance (Feldman, 1981). Organizational goals and values involve the lear ning and understanding of that which is important and beneficial to the and traditions of the organization and how they are used to transmit knowledge and espouse values ( Ritti & Funkhouser, 1987). Journalism Structures Journalists in newsrooms are socialized to define news in ways that espouse organizational goals based on journalism structures. Journalism structures refer to routines for gathering information that influ ence what items journalists define as news (Lowrey, 2006). These structures are put into place to promote efficiency, maximize coverage, satisfy organizational goals and values, and shield the news organization from ethical and legal issues that could harm profitability (Lowrey, 2006). Journalism structures make it so j ournalists are able to easily recognize which items should be defined as news, although they may only be able to articulate their Gilligan 2006, p. 5). One s uch structure taught to a spiring journalists is the inverted pyramid style of writing for hard news stories. The
47 selection of this storytelling mode over a chronological or narrative style teaches journalists how to emphasize some information and sources o ver others. Eventually, this routine may help journalists convey organizational goals and preferences through the emphasis of particular information, perspectives, or sources over others (Tuchman, 1972). When they arrive to work in newsrooms, journalists may begin to adopt routines for defining news that parallel the values espoused by their organization. Managerial strategies that promote organizational goals to employees in newsrooms include conferring with editors, reading the newspaper or website, an d observing changes made while editing stories. Such practices encourage journalists to recognize what news topics, sources, and news values are preferred by the organization (Breed, 1955). Those that are not preferred by organizational leaders likely will be phased out of greatest value in the daily news cycle. By adopting these routines for defining news, journalists become catalysts for their organization by articulati ng its goals and values in their news selections and the ways that they structure their stories (Breed, 1955; Tuchman, 1988; Gans, 1979). News routines enable efficiency but can also limit the scope of topics. Journalists in news organizations are ancho red by their beats and department in order to efficiently determine which items should be considered news (Tuchman, 1978). Journalists are representatives of the agencies that they cover, including government and big businesses (Fishman, 1980, p. 210). Potential news items not conveyed by agency
48 officials are neglected because the inclusion of those items would require journalists to challenge their established routines, resulting i n inefficiency (Fishman, 1980). Sources can also provide information that help journalists determine which items will be considered news and how to structure their stories. Sources have been defined luding interviewees who ... are quoted in articles, and those who only supply background information or story stories regarding events that they have not witnessed themselve s or to provide interpretation. Sources can help define news by providing or withholding information that can lead organizations to embrace particular items as news or reject them as non news. Sources can also influence news decisions by providing a contex tual framework for a story through which all other information is judged. It may also be cheaper or easier to contact particular sources, making them preferable for journalists seeking efficiency (Shoemaker & Reese, 1996). News routines often result in journalists preferring to use official over non official sources because they are able to speak with authority about a topic or issue (Gans, 1979; Lacy & Coulson, 2000). The designation of a person as an official or non official source in media relies prim arily on the capacity in which they speak. Official sources are those who speak on behalf of an organization, which is typically evidenced in print official sources represent only themse lves when speaking (Armstrong & Nelson, 2005). Official sources often include those who speak on behalf of a government agency or corporation, and they are often prominently featured in news products by journalists seeking efficiency
49 (Hansen, 1991; Lacy & Coulson, 2000; Shoemaker & Reese, 1996). Non official sources often include victims, witnesses, and those participating in events (Berkowitz & Beach, 1993). Deadlines encourage news routines that can lead to journalists preferring to use official sources ( Tuchman, 1978). Requirements to work quickly prompt journalists to turn to information gatekeepers, such as public information officers, government officials, and business representatives, in search of easily accessible quotes and information. The habitual use of official sources leads to news organizations valuing the opinions of those sources as most believable (Gandy, 1982). Official sources also help news organizations know which items to define as news during interviews and by conducting press confer ences (Gans, 1979; Lacy & Coulson, 2000; Shoemaker & Reese, 1996; Tuchman, 1988). Journalists often call on official sources, rather than those affected by events, to diagnose the severity of those events (Gans, 1979; Tuchman, 1988). For example, police of ficials, rather than victims or witnesses, are often the ones selected by journalists to describe crimes, and agencies distributing aid define recipient need rather than the recipients themselves (Tuchman, 1988). Government and corporate officials also att empt to control which items should be defined as news by holding press conferences to deliver their 1996). The use of press conferences to promote government or company inte rests often means their message will be conveyed and emphasized to readers, as most media organizations want to ensure that they are not missing out on stories produced by their competitors ( Boczkowski 2009).
50 Differences Between Print and Online News val ues and topics help illustrate how news is defined by organizations and fact ors including socialization and journalism structures explain in part why journalists define news the way they do. However, reader preferences for news values and topics must also be considered in the news defining process Readers in print and online often prefer different news values and topics and newspaper and web only organizations favorites help explain why some news values and topics are defined as news more frequently than others. Journalists learn their news defining behaviors from co workers and managers, who also have the financial interests of the organization in mind. Journalists seek ing to be a part of the organization will embrace organizational goals as their own, defining news based in ways that will increase readership and generate or maintain revenue Organizational goals of attracting readers based on their distinct preferences for news values and topics provided the theoretical basis of this study. Assessing Reader Preferences Online metrics allow journalists to access information about reader preferences in previously unavailable ways, potentially impacting the ways in which they define news. News organizations once found it difficult to gauge reader interest in a given news item, relying solely on polls of readers who may not report their preferences accurately (Bernt, Fee, Gifford, & Stempel, 2000). At best, these surveys of fered general feedback on topic preferences. However, online metrics reveal reader preferences and activities in real time
51 their movement through the website and measuring the am ount of time spent on each item Some web only organiz ations rely on these metrics for selecting content that will appeal to readers and drive pages views which is their only means for attracting advertisers. At local, web only news organization Pa tch journalists were charged with the task of garnering web clicks from at least half of the population of the town in which they reported (Roach, 201 2 ). For example, in a town of 21,000 people, the objective of the website was to attract 10,500 unique vi sitors each month. Journalists at Patch attempted to satisfy these requirements by examining the demographics of a city or town and posting about three to five new pieces of information per day aimed at attracting targeted segments of the population promp ting them to define news as anything that would appeal to those readers (Roach, 201 2 ). At the web only news site Gawker founder Nick Denton pushed his bloggers to produce news that entertain readers online and attract page views, such as items about scand als, celebrities and oddities (McGrath, 2010). yellow journalism are the staples of the new yellow journalism: sex; crime; and, even Many news organizatio ns now post lists of most viewed or most emailed stories on their homepage which can lead online users to read those stories instead of scanning the website for themselves, which can skew online measurements Online readers often do not seek particular ne ws; rather they tend to click on news that catches their eye (Tewskbury & Althaus, 2000). L ists alert ing readers to what stories others are reading prompt them to click on those stories as well The
52 most emailed l ist revealed that the types of stories that appeared and stayed on the list were different from those emphasized by jour nalists in print. T he most emailed stories also did not reflect typical patterns of individual online news consumption, suggesting that readers viewed and sent the stories listed as being the most emailed simply because of their already established placement on the list. This 06) was the most emailed news story on The website for the year, evidence of how a story that evokes a usefulness value (in this case, how to improve relationships) can resonate with readers far beyond the relatively insignificant importance print j ournalists gave it publishing it in section nine, page seven of the print edition Another feature of online journalism that is changing how news is defined stems from use of search engines to find the information they want directly rather than scanning through publications to find stories that interest them. Online readers are less prone to loyalty to one organization and instead look for news irrespective of brand. Nicholas (2008) found that online news consumers view many different websites w hen searching for topics of interest rather th an staying on one news website. News organizations online will sometimes use their knowledge of Internet search terms to define news in ways that are likely to attract page views. For example, when actor Charli e Shee n had a public meltdown in late 2011, several news outlets, including the online magazine Salon published mostly aggregated content about the incident on its website simply because it was a trending topic that spiked page views online (LaFrance, 201 2)
53 Readers also use referrals via email and social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, prompting news organizations to rethink their news definitions to increase the likelihood their stories will get shared online Sonderman (2011c ) found people s that news organizations can, and do, increase their story prefer ences. The Washington Post launched a Facebook application in 2011 in hopes of scoring more page views via referrals called the Washington Post Social Reader, which allowed readers to instantly share the stories they clicked on with their Facebook friends ( Sonderman, 2011 a ). Other news organizations, such as The Guardian and The Daily launched similar applications that pages with only the content being read by their friends or by many other Facebook users makin g it possible for users to get somewhat personalized news without having to peruse the Subscriptions Versus Page Views Knowing what topics and news values are viewed the most by print and online readers can influence the ways in which those organizations define news. Newspaper s were largely built on paid subscriptions, a revenue model that encourages journalism companies to build stable relationships with readers and employ a long term perspec tive in evaluating news choices ( M ings & White, 2000 ) Readers subscribe to the newspaper for news content, and advertisers place their messages in the product based on the promise of reaching subscribers (Doyle, 2009; Martin & Souder, 2009). One study found that casual newspaper readers w ere likely to become subscribers if they notice an improvement in editorial quality on a wide range of issues, including
54 local, national, business, and sports stories (Pope, 1994) Anoth er found that when organizations spend money to improve the quality of their newspaper, circulation tends to increase, suggesting that the best way to retain subscriptions is through long term commitments to quality content (St. Cyr, Lacy, and Guzman Ortega, 2005) As readers have shifted online, so too has the business mo del that supports the news products. Advertising rates online may be based on the number of unique users or page views generated by a story or by the number of users who click on an advertisement with an embedded hyperlink ( Cohn, 2008 ). In some cases, the more clicks a story receives, the more money the advertiser will be required to pay (Cohn, 2008). Online metrics measuring user habits enable advertisers to deliver their message to a more customized audience or to larger audiences depending on the type o f story near which their advertisement is placed. Therefore, news topics and values that typically generate a large number of unique views would be more valuable for news organizations to produce for their online product. Page views are often driven by bre aking news, which often involves news about crimes and disasters Shoemaker (2006) wrote that breaking news typically consists of stories about crime, political conflict, threats to the health of the public, sex scandals, dire econom ic forecasts, war, and death Schaudt and Carpenter (2009) found that online news consumers click most often on stories about crime and suggested that news organizations hoping to generate page views might focus more on topics involving conflict. Theory of the Firm Differences between newspaper organizations seeking both subscribers and page views and web only organizations primarily seeking only page views may be
55 predicted by the theory of the firm, which argues that companies will give prima cy t o their economic interests. The theory of the firm consists of several economic theories aimed at exploring four topics. The first topic explores the existence of firms, and ponders their value relative to other models for obtaining and sharing goods and s ervices emphasizing the basic tenet of the theory: the assumption that the goal of a firm is to turn a profit (Foss, Lando, & Thomsen, 1999; Hosk ins, McFadyen, & Finn, 2002) The second topic addressed in the theory argues boundaries erected between firms and the market are necessary because markets are imperfect and labor intensive, and firms allow transactions to occur by building relationships between buyers and sellers (Kuhn & Ashcraft 2003) The third topic concerns organizational h ierarchies that es tablish chains of command in organizations that help maximize efficiency by making workers accountable to their superiors (Simon, 1997). The forth topic addressed by the theory concerns the behavior of those within the firm, assuming employees will work to maximize profitability for their own personal gains. M edia organizations are no exception to the theory of the firm because most exist to make a profit (Shoemaker & Reese, 1996). The methods for maximizing profit at newspaper organizations differ from t hose at web only organizations. Although both rely on readership figures to attract advertisers, newspaper organizations have been built on long term goals that include the establishment of a steady base of subscribers while web only organizations have nee ded to focus on short term goals of attracting page views that can fluctuate from moment to moment ( Mings & White, 2000 ) The theory of the firm predicts that these differing methods for prizing long or short term goals for
56 attracting readers and advertis ers will lead the two types of organizations to differ in how they define news to suit their own economic best interests. Two of the four web only organizations The Bay Citizen and Tucson Sentinel are non profit organizations and another, the New Hav en Independent is a not for profit organization. N on profit and not for profit organizations operate differently from for profit businesses Journalists at nonprofit organizations report feeling as much or more responsibility for the bottom line as their peers at for profit news organizations (Walton, 2010). At for profit organizations, journalists are sometimes subject to cuts based on losses at other organizations owned by a corporate parent Although their newspaper may be financially stable, those jour nalists may lose their jobs to help the corporation leaving those journalists feeling there is less they can do to control the fate of their company ( Shea, 2012 ) However, journalists at non profit news organizations sometimes take it upon themselves to s olicit donations and fundraise to ensure the viability of their organization (Walton, 2010). Newspaper readers may be migrating online, but most newspaper organizations in 2011 still go t a majority of their revenue from print advertising according to fin ancial statements of publicly traded media companies In 2011, newspapers lost about $10 in print advertising revenue for every $1 they gained online (Lee, 2012). Print advertising in newspapers has been on the decline since 2007 and online advertising has made gains but newspapers char ge more for print ads than online ads because competition for ad dollars is steeper online (Edmonds, 2012 ; Lee, 2012 ). Thus, appealing to print readers with content that interests and keeps them loyal is still a necessity fo r newspapers.
57 Few studies exist linking the theory of the firm to journalism organizations. Anderson (2004) used the 1981 case of Janet Cooke, then a reporter at The Washington Post to examine ways in which story fabrication indirectly affects newspaper Once it was revealed that Cooke had received a Pulitzer Prize for a fictional story, The Post saw a decrease in its stock price, which Anderson was able to link to declining reader satisfaction. Cooke was subsequently fired, and Anderson u sed the theory of the firm to argue that media organizations will use their (2008) also used the theory to analyze promotion and branding strategies used by cable n etwork news shows. Their content analysis revealed two of three cable news shows used streaming news tickers at the bottom of the television screen to self promote. These findings supported the predictions made based on the theory of the firm, which sugges t organizations will act in their own best interest. As was suggested by Anderson (2004), news organizations have altered their news content to suit reader preferences in an effort to increase profits (Beam, 1996, 2003; Hamilton, 2007; McManus, 1994). S ome news organizations use market research to determine the interests and needs of readers and the y tailor their content to accommodate those preferences (McManus, 1994) A survey of United States newspaper editors revealed that greater uncertainty about the perceived environment of their organization s or communities le d them to seek measurements of reader preferences (Beam, 1996 ). Profit motivations can also generate pressure on organizations to adjust their news definitions to reader preferences. One 199 4 study revealed newspapers have become increasingly influenced by market forces to adjust
58 and less community news (McManus, 1994). The author argued pressures to adjus t news definitions to focus more on reader favorites were the result of increased competition for readers and advertising dollars, which have only worsened with the rise of the Internet. Journalists in media organizatio ns know that news that attracts read ers will, in turn, attract advertisers, prompting them to define news in ways that appeal most to readers (Lacy, Shaver, & St. Cyr, 1996; Ludwig, 2000 ; Martin & Souder, 2009 ). ts can transform readers into customers whose opinions must be acknowledged. A survey of United States newspaper editors revealed that greater uncertainty about the perceived environment of their organization s or communities has led newspaper organizations to use measurements of reader preferences in selecting content (Beam, 1996 ; McManus, 1994). Beam (2003) found that newspapers that relied more heavily on readership research tended to feature fewer items about government and public affairs and more items about sports in an effort to cater to reader preferences. Hypotheses and Research Questions Readers in print and online are distinct in their preferences for news values and topics in stories. It was proposed newspaper and web only organizations would defi ne news in line with what their readers prefer in order to maximize profitability. Thus, hypotheses regarding the percentages of news defining variables in web only and newspaper organizations and in print versus online were proposed based on existing rese arch on print and online reader preferences.
59 Research on some topics and news values did not reveal evidence to predict significant differences among print and online readers. Therefore, research questions regarding those variables were also proposed. Brea king News Breaking news is often responsible for spikes in online readership that satisfy the short term goals of web only organizations (Pew Research Center for the People & the has traditionally be en used as a label for information that is broadcast through media capable of dispensing information immediately, such as radio, television and the Internet (Downie & Kaiser, 2002; Heyboer, 2000). Immediacy is a key component of breaking news online, too, as events are often defined as news online simply because they just happened T he term has also been used to describe events or incidents that are not planned (Tuchman, 1973), which allows for their application to news items in print which can only be up dated once every 24 hours compared to around the clock updates permitted online Although b reaking news items are included in print publications, online readers tend to click on the latest updates more often than other items (Pew Research Center for the Pe ople & the Press, 2010) Given the proclivity of online reader s to click on breaking news items, the following hypothese s were proposed: H1 a : A greater percentage of the total items in web only publications will contain breaking news than will those in ne wspaper publications H1b: A greater percentage of the total items online (websites of newspapers and web only publications) will contain breaking news than will those in newsprint
60 News Values Breaking news events display high levels of the timeliness val ue, and they are a main reason why readers consume news online. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press (2010), 53 percent of the daily newspaper readers surveyed said that they most like reading the latest head lines. B reaking news is more appealing to readers than a story possessing a time element that is not immediate (Shoe maker, 2006). Readers prefer to select breaking news stories that involve crime, violence, and scandal (Shoemaker, 2006). Although print new spapers are limited by their publication cycles, they are able to publish some breaking news stories within 24 hours of their occurrence. However, the immediacy of such stories is what appeals to readers online, driving up page views on the news sites that publish them. O f the most emailed and most viewed stories on the Yahoo! News website timely items are the third most likely to be emailed or recommended by readers (Curtain, Dougall, and Mersey, 2008). Given the increased need of web only organizations t o generate page views, the following hypothes e s were proposed: H2 a : A greater percentage of the total items in web only publications will contain the timeliness news value than will those in newspaper publications H2 b : A greater percentage of the total items online will contain the timeliness news value than will those in newsprint Online readers have also indicated preferences for the helpfulness news value, th e most emailed articles from The New York Times found that articles offering advice about life issues such as weight loss, depression, and quitting smoking, tend to remain on the most emailed list the longest. Recognizing this fact USA Today announced in
61 2011 that it would expand its coverage of often read topics, including travel tips, gadget reviews, financial advice, and lifestyle recommendations, all of which feature the helpfulness news value (Liedtke, 2011). Newspaper representatives said that the m ove to embrace the helpfulness news value was aimed specifically at attracting readers who get their news online or via portable digital devices, such as iPads and cellular phones (Liedtke, 2011). This is hardly a new suggestion. In 2005, Chicago Tribune c olumnists Eric Zorn and Mary Schmich encouraged newspapers to run more advice columns about relationships and other emotion provoking topics in order to drive readership (Romenesko, 2005). Given the attention paid to reader preferences for the helpfulness news value by newspaper and web only organizations, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that one type of organization may define items possessing this value as news more often than the other. Therefore, the following research question s were proposed: RQ1 a : Which organizational type (newspaper or web only) produces a greater percentage of news items containing the helpfulness news value? RQ1b: Which medium (newsprint or online) produces a greater percentage of news items containing the helpfu lness news value? Stories containing the human interest news value appeal to readers in print and online, but expectations for immediacy online may lead web only organizations to define human interest items as news less frequently than newspaper organiza tions. Print journalists have used the human interest news value to attract readers, as many enjoy reading about people to whom they can relate (Schudson, 2003). Online, o ne study found Yahoo! News users were most likely to email stories containing the hum an interest news value, but those stories were not the most recommended or viewed,
62 ranking fourth out of six values (Curtain, Dougall, & Mersey, 2008) H uman interest stories tend to require more time to report and write than the breaking news it ems that g enerate quick page views online (Gibbs & Warhover, 2002). Given the enhanced need for web only news organizations to generate pag e views, the following hypothese s were proposed: H3 a : A greater percentage of the total items in newspaper publications wil l contain the human interest news value than will those in web only publications H 3 b: A greater percentage of the total items in newsprint will contain the human interest news value than will those online Stories featuring conflict are often viewed an d recommended by online readers (Curtain, Dougall, & Mersey, 2008), suggesting that stories focused on conflict may be defined as news more often by web only organizations. Stories that appear on online lists of most read stories often include some element s of controversy (Goh, 2011). One study revealed c onflict to be the most viewed and the most recommended news value on the Yahoo! News website (Curtain, Dougall, & Mersey, 2008) While conflict is a news value traditionally recognized by all journalists (P rice, Tewksbury, & Powers, 1997) there is little published evidence that would suggest that conflict is a predominant news value for those in newspaper organizations. Given its popularity with online reader s, the following hypothese s were proposed: H4a: A greater percentage of the total items in web only publications will contain the conflict news value than will those in newspaper publications H4b: A greater percentage of the total items online will contain the conflict news value than will those in n ewsprint
63 Odd or unusual occurrences tend to be emailed frequently by news readers, suggesting that these items may be defined as news frequently by web only organizations. One study found that stories containing the oddity news value are the third most e mailed from the Yahoo! News website (Curtain, Dougall, & Mersey, 2008) News organizations have enjoyed dramatic spikes in page views following odd events. In 2009, a story about a 6 year old Colorado boy supposedly floating away in a weather balloon attra cted almost one million unique viewers to a television station website in Denver. Even though the story turned out to be a hoax ( the boy was never in the balloon, and his parents later admitted to staging the drama), Channel 9 saw its page views jump from its average of about 750,000 a day to about 4.6 million over the course of three hours (Roberts, 2009). The popularity of the oddity news value with readers may lead web only organizations to define items containing the news value more often in hopes of at tracting page views. H5a: A greater percentage of the total items in web only publications will contain the oddity news value than will those in newspaper publications H5b: A greater percentage of the total items online will contain the oddity news val ue than will those in newsprint Newspaper and web only organizations often define items featuring prominent people or groups as news. One study found that stories featuring entertainers and sports stars tend to be relatively popular with readers ( Tewks bury 2003) News organizations that cover celebrities may be practicing smart business techniques because celebrity coverage attracts print readers and page views (Harris, 2011). Online readers access a larger number of entertainment and sports stories th an are typically
64 available in print newspaper, and stories featuring prominent entertainers tended to land frequently on the list of most read stories on Yahoo! News (Curtain, Dougall, & Mersey, 2008). Given the popularity of this news value with print and online readers, there is insufficient evidence to suggest that one type of organization may define items about prominent groups or people more frequently than the other. RQ2 a : Which organizational type (newspaper or web only) produces a greater percent age of news items containing the prominence news value? RQ2b: Which medium (newsprint or online) produces a greater percentage of news items containing the prominence news value? Although magnitude is touted in journalism textbooks as a key ingr edient for helping journalists define items as news, only one published study measuring magnitude could be found. In their study of news values in community news websites, Schaudt and Carpenter (2009) found magnitude to be one of the least present news val ues found in stories, ranking fifth out of seven examined values. Given the lack of research regarding the use of magnitude in news content, the following research question s were proposed: RQ 3 a: Which organizational type (newspaper or web only) produces a greater percentage of news items containing the magnitude news value? RQ 3 b: Which medium (newsprint or online) produces a greater percentage of news items containing the magnitude news value? Both newspaper and web only organizations use the news valu e proximity to define items as news. One study found print newspapers traditionally have and continue to provide local coverage that readers rely on (Rosenstiel, et al., 2011). Proximity has
65 been shown to be an important news value online, as well. A study of print and online news content revealed local stories were published just as frequently online as they were in print (Smith, 2005). All of the news organizations included in this study focus ed primarily on local coverage. Therefore, it would stand to re ason that the proximity news value would appear frequently in news items in both publications. As there is no research to suggest one organization type or medium would include more proximity items than the other the following research question s were posed : RQ4a: Which organizational type (newspaper or web only) produces a greater percentage of news items containing the proximity news value? RQ4b: Which medium (newsprint or online) produces a greater percentage of news items containing the proximity new s value? The presence of one news value may be enough for a news organization to define an item as news in many cases, but the presence of multiple news values the oddit y news value might be defined as news based on its uniqueness. However, an item containing oddity and proximity would be more likely to be defined as news because the local angle to the story would likely resonate more with readers. One study found journal ists track the presence of news values in the stories readers click on and will often use that knowledge to incorporate popular news values in their stories (MacGregor, 2007). Given the heightened necessity for web only organizations to attract page views, the following hypotheses were proposed: H6 a : News items produced for web only organizations will contain more news values per item than will those produced for newspaper organizations.
66 H6b: News items produced online will contain more news values per item than will those produced for newsprint News Topics Crime stories are among the most viewed news topics by online readers, garnering top page views on many sites (Stanford Poynter Project, 2000). A study that used cameras to track reading found that 80 p ercent of participants looked at crime news ( Stanford Poynter Project, 2000). Criminal occurrences are often featured as breaking news items (Shoemaker, 2006), which drive up page views online (Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2010). A 2010 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed that 53 percent of daily newspaper readers most like to view publications in print or online to get the latest news headlines compared to in depth stories, views and opinions, or entertainment (Pew Rese arch Center for the People & the Press, 2010). Similarly, a 2011 study found mobile users often use their devices to access breaking news stories (Alford and Greer, 2011) Given the popularity of crime stories with online readers, crime news will likely ma ke up a larger portion of online news items. H7a: A greater percentage of the total items in web only publications will be on the crime topic than will those in newspaper publications H7b: A greater percentage of the total items online will be on the cr ime topic than will those in newsprint Stories about accidents, disasters, and public safety have been popular with both print and online news consumers for many years. A 2007 study conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed that news consumers are m ost likely to view public safety stories on issues including bad weather, man made disasters and natural disasters
67 and the popularity of these stories with readers had not waned in 20 years (Robinson, 2007) Both newspaper and web only journalists appear ed to be aware of the popularity of disaster/accident stories, as a study revealed that both types of organizations gave top billing in print and online to stories on the topic (Maier, 2010 a ). Given the lack of evidence to suggest that either newspaper or web only organizations would define disaster, accident, and public safety stories as news more often than the other, the following research question s were proposed: RQ5 a: Which organizational type (newspaper or web only) produces a greater percentage of ne ws items on the accidents, disasters, and public safety news topic? RQ5 b: Which medium (newsprint or online) produces a greater percentage of news items on the accidents, disasters, and public safety news topic? Studies of reader preferences have also id entified business as a topic that The New York Times showed that business articles were among the most emailed stories online, with more than half of the stories on the topic rema ining on the most emailed list for multiple days. Print newspaper readers also favor business news over most other topics A 2007 Pew Research Center study found that money news, including stories about employment, inflation, and prices, was ranked the sec ond most read news topic by newspaper readers for 20 years (Robinson, 2007). The popularity of business news in print has been evidenced by the success of the business themed newspaper The Wall Street Journal which wa s the only newspaper of the top 25 cir culated in the United States to grow its circulation in 2010 (Shea, 2010). Given the popularity of business stories in both print and online publications, ne ither newspaper n or web only
68 organizations could be assumed to define more items on the topic as ne ws than the other. RQ6a: Which organizational type (newspaper or web only) produces a greater percentage of news items containing the business news topic? RQ6b: Which medium (newsprint or online) produces a greater percentage of news items containing the business news topic? Stories featuring sports news topics have been favorites among readers for many years. viewing habits online revealed study participants most frequently selected sports stories Beam (2003 ) found newspapers that rely more heavily on readership research to make news decisions tend to feature more items about sports, as many readers favor the topic Noting its appeal one journalist called on news organizations to boost sports coverage in the ir products to news and its ability to drive up page views online, the following hypothes e s were proposed: H8a: A greater percentage of the total items in web only pub lications will be on the sports topic than will those in newspaper publications H8b: A greater percentage of the total items online will be on the sports topic than will those in newsprint Entertainment stories have also been popular with online reader s, and stories featuring celebrities have helped drive up page views online. Researchers found Yahoo! News readers enjoy entertainment stories, ranking them third most popular out of nine news topics behind world and national news (Curtain, Dougall, & Mers ey, 2008).
69 Entertainment articles can contribute to the growth of a news product in competition with other organizations. A study of three Ger man publications revealed that one news organization featuring entertainment stories displayed greater readership growth during a 10 year period than their hard news counterparts did (Ludwig, 2000). Web only organizations may choose to define entertainment items as news more frequently based on their ability to drive up page views. H9a: A greater percentage of the to tal items in web only publications will be on the entertainment topic than will those in newspaper publications H9b: A greater percentage of the total items online will be on the entertainment topic than will those in newsprint Lifestyle stories tend t o appeal to b oth print and online readers. Newspaper organizations often include lifestyle stories because they know readers enjoy reading stories on the topic (Beam, 2003). Lifestyle stories are popular with readers online, too. On The New York Times webs ite, stories featuring advice on lifestyle issues tend to emailed list, garnering many page views (Thorson, 2008). One journalist argued writing stories about pets, relationships, and other lifestyle topics is a surefi re way to generate page views online (Shafer, 2006). Given the popularity of lifestyle stories with both print and online readers the following research question s were proposed: RQ7a: Which organizational type (newspaper or web only) produces a greater percentage of news items containing the lifestyle news topic? RQ7b: Which medium (newsprint or online) produces a greater percentage of news items containing the lifestyle news topic?
70 Research has shown print news readers prefer reading local governme nt and political stories. Hollander (2010) found that readers of the print edition of the newspaper value local government stories, whereas online readers do not value them as much. Schnbach, Waal and Lauf (2005) found that print newspaper readers were m ore aware of public events and issues than were online newspaper readers, indicating a possible preference for topics that impact the community, including government and politics. Another study found the print newspapers with which reader members reported being satisfied contained more stories about politics than those that did not contain as many politics stories (Readership Institute, 2001). The print reader preference for government and political topics suggests that newspaper organizations may define it ems on those topics as news more frequently than would web only organizations. H10a: A greater percentage of the total items in newspaper publications will be on the government and politics topic than will those in web only publications H10b: A greater percentage of the total items in newsprint will be on the government and politics topic than will those in online Education stories appeal to print news readers, who have indicated a desire to read more and longer stories on the topic (Readership Instit ute, 2001). Some studies of print readership revealed readers enjoy education stories in their local news (Hollander, 2010; Stone & Boudreau, 1995). Conversely, online readers tend to select fewer public affairs stories when reading which include educatio n topics ( Tewksbury & Althaus, 2000 ). stories, the following hypothese s were proposed:
71 H11a: A greater percentage of the total items in newspaper publications will be on the education topic than will those in web only publications H11b: A greater percentage of the total items in newsprint will be on the education topic than will those in online Print news readers have also indicated they were more satisfied with newspapers that provide more and longer stori es about health topics (Readership Institute, 2001). As with education stories, print newsreaders have ranked health as a topic they desire to be a part of their l ocal news coverage (Hollander, 2010; Stone & Boudreau, 1995), though they have not fare d as w ell online. Readers of community news sites in Arizona rarely viewed health stories on the community news websites Health stories were also unpopular among readers of the Yahoo! News website who have turned to other publications for health news Given th is preference for health stories among print readers, the following hypothes e s were proposed: H12a: A greater percentage of the total items in newspaper publications will be on the health topic than will those in web only publications H12b: A greater pe rcentage of the total items in newsprint will be on the health topic than will those in online No published studies evaluating a readership for religion stories in print could be found, and studies examining religion topics online showed no real preferen ce for the topic. A study of community websites showed that readers rarely viewed religion stories online (Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009). Given the lack of literature to support a statement regarding print or online reader preferences for religion stories, th e following research question s were proposed:
72 RQ8a: Which organizational type (newspaper or web only) produces a greater percentage of news items containing the religion news topic? RQ8b: Which medium (newsprint or online) produces a greater percentage of news items containing the religion news topic? Sourcing In addition to new means for measuring reader preferences for news values and topics, t he Internet has changed the communication dynamic between journalists and their reader s, enabling unprecedent ed opportunities for conversation and interaction that may also be affecting news definitions. Communication features on news websites, including reader comment sections, online forums, and e mail, enable speedy, public interaction s between journalists and readers Journalists who engage readers through the informal communication that websites afford may create news cov erage that address es topics more likely to be of interest to readers than do journalists who operate witho ut the interactivity of online ( Sin ger in press ). News organizations that engage in crowdsourcing ask citizens to help report stories, often by providing data or questions for readers to mine or answer (Muthukumaraswamy, 2010). Some news organizations also monitor social networking sites, such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook searching for public information that they can include in a story or for sources to contact (Brooks, 2008). Although these opportunities for embracing reader feedback regarding the gathering of sources are a vailable to both types of news organizations, some studies have suggested that web only organizations might be taking advantage of them more than are newspaper organizations. One study of four Spanish news organizations showed journalists at an online only publication were more interested in connecting with
73 readers online than were their counterparts at the other three news organizations where journalists produce d content for both print and online (Domingo, 2008) It was revealed that newspaper journalists felt overwhelmed by reader comments and clung to their professional ideology of independence, making it difficult for them to accept the value of involving readers in story development, whereas journalists who produce only online content were more enthusia stic about involving readers in the defining of news. Similarly, a review of 47 online newspaper sites revealed that few of the organizations were using new technologies online to engage readers in a conversation that could improve coverage on public affai rs issues ( Rosenberry 2005) The study revealed those journalists largely viewed online techniques to be advantageous for gathering information quickly rather than engaging readers in conversations that could improve the quality of stories. Although this study pointed to reluctance at newspaper organizations to use interactive tools to connect with readers, it did not include a comparison to web only organizations. Given this evidence regarding the willingness of web only journalists to embrace interactive opportunities to engage readers and use them as sources, the following hypothes e s were proposed: H13a: A greater percentage of the total sources used in web only publications will be non official compared to those in newspaper publications H13b: A gre ater percentage of the total sources used in online items will be non official compared to those in print items Storytelling Features Much in the way the Internet has softened the barriers between journalists and their sources, t he loosening of space cons traints online has allowed news organizations to go beyond traditional offerings of text and photos to engage readers with multimedia
74 features that may cause them to define news differently. Online readers may process information in ways that encourage the use of multiple senses (Sunda r, 2000). Multimedia features such as audio and video, once dominated by other mediums are available for all to use on the Internet. Online viewers have reported feeling more in control of their news viewing experience, and t hey have shown a preference for websites offering multimedia features, including animated graphics audio, and video (Sundar, 2000). However, some types of stories better lend themselves to online specific storytelling techniques than others (Quinn & Filak 2005) As a result, journalists m ay look for news items that are better suited for those technologies at the expense of news items that are not Blogs offer also offer new way s to communicate information in shorter blocks and less formally than a traditi onal story, and they are built for interaction with and among readers (Lasica, 2003). Some journalists use them to connect with readers throughout the reporting process by soliciting sources or ideas and gaining feedback. Others use blogs to enhance credib ility by giving informal accounts of the reporting process. Journalism blogs can also increase interest on a topic or help journalists present a more personable side of themselves in hopes of relating to readers (Lasica, 2003). Blogs are attractive to onli ne readers, who are comfortable using the popular format to distribute and consume news (Allan, 2006). While the use of the w eb provides both newspaper and web only organizations the same opportunities to use more storytelling features with news items tha n they could in print, the popularity of additional storytelling features with news consumers online may prompt web only organizations to provide more storytelling features within
75 news items in hopes of acquiring more page views. Given the potential for ad ditional storytelling features to spike page views online, the following hypothesi s wa s proposed: H14: News items produced for web only publications will include more storytelling features per news item than will those produced for the online editions of t he newspaper publications
76 Textbook 1 Textbook 2 Study 1 Study 2 Prominence Timeliness Conflict Conflict Timeliness Impact (significance) Prominence Human interest Proximity Magnitude Proximity Magnitude Impact Prominence Timeliness Oddity Magnit ude Proximity News you can use Prominence Conflict Special interest Thoughtfulness Proximity Oddity Disaster (tragedy) Novelty Timeliness Emotional impact Conflict Oddity Community issues Currency Human interest Helpfulness Enter tainment Humor Competition Yopp & McAdams (2007) Gibbs & Warhover (2002) Gilligan (2006) Schaudt & Carpenter (2009) Figure 2 1. News values from textbooks and studies
77 Study 1 Study 2 Study 3 Study 4 Crime /safety Government agencies/ Art s Government/civic Business legislature Business & affairs Entertainment Campaigns/elections/ personal finance Crime /justice Other politics Community news & Science/medicine Politics Defense/military ordinary people Education Sports (domest ic) Crime courts & legal Business /economy/ Lifestyle Court/legal system Disasters & accidents work Education Crime Education Weather/environment Health Business Health, home, food Accidents/events Religion Economy/economics fashion & travel Home l ife Oddity Environment Parenting, Arts/entertainment Weather Education relationships & Sports Religion religion Women/minorities Health/medicine Politics, government & Immigration war Disasters/accidents Pop music Celebrity/entertain ment Science, technology & Lifestyle environment Sports Sports Media Television & movies U.S. foreign affairs Foreign (non U.S.) Schaudt & Carpenter (2009) Maier (2010a); Pew Research Center Publications (2008) Readership Instit ute (2003) Beam (2008) Figure 2 2. News topics from studies
78 CHAPTER 3 METHOD Content Analysis Addressing the hypotheses and research questions posed in this study requires an examination of news content, which can be done effectively through a conten t analysis. T he examination of text and printed features using content ana lyses has helped researchers as sess meaningful characteristics, allowing them to systematically evaluate data (Berelson, 1952; Kerlinger, 2000; Krippendorff, 2004 ; Neuendorf, 2002). Content analysis is a powerful tool for recognizing patterns in written communication (Stemler, 2001). Analyses of media content allow researchers to study a wide range of data over long periods of time in non intrusive ways that may illustrate ways in whi ch mass media impact society (Shoemaker & Reese, 1996). Such studies grant researchers the ability to examine messages in mass media as they occur that offer insight into how those organizations work (Macnamara, 2005). Content analyses are limited in that the coding of implicit terms can be subjective, though studies may be made more empirical through the provision of well defined terms (Macnamara, 2005). When analyzing content, coders are typically asked to make categorization judgments that could vary fr om person to person. To limit such subjectivity, definitions and coding criteria for a content analysis should be grounded in 2004). For example, Maier (2010) followed a thoroughly explicated code book used in previous studies to determine content priorities at news organizations, and Schaudt and Carpenter (2009) relied on previous studies to define their categories and tested them to obtain inter coder reliability in th e creation of their code book.
79 In an effort to limit the subjectivity of coders for this study, detailed instructions for selecting news topics and values from the Readership Institute (2001) were used and the code book was revised throughout coder traini ng to provide clarity and promote objectivity. Examples of coding items that could be confusing were provided, along with explanations for why those items were coded in particular ways. For example, a story about the theft of an Academy Award statue may be seen as a crime or an entertainment story. Coders were instructed to focus on the primary action of the story (the act of theft) rather than the context of entertainment, thus leading them to code the The use of constructed week sampling can help reduce standard error in content analyses (Riffe, Aust & Lacy, 1993). Two constructed weeks, totaling 10 collection days, were used for data collection to reduce the effect of possible content anomalies on any given c ollection day on the total data. Saturdays and Sundays were excluded from the study because The New Haven Independent does not publish on weekends. The unit of analysis was the item, which included headlines, text, pictures, graphics, and any other story telling features associated with that item, such as videos, podcasts, and interactive opinion questions. Items were evaluated according to relative measures (the percentage of all values and topics that each value or topic consumed in the product). The ite m was selected over the group so as not to restrict analysis of the variables. The use of the item allowed for additional observation of interactions between variables, adding greater depth and context to the study (Hopkins, 1982). Only the news
80 item itsel f was evaluated; links or references to other items were not included in the analysis. Pilot Collection A pilot collect the data from which were not used in the study was conducted to test how much material would be colle cted to determine the feasibility of conducting a census 66) method for determining the primary navigation of the site. Links to news items on the homepage of each online publ ication were clicked and those items were harvested for coding The researcher then selected each primary navigation tab located at the top of t he page (there were typically 6 to 10 tabs). These accessed from drop down menus activated when rolling over the primary navigation tabs was downloaded, and items published within 24 hours of the collection time were captured for coding. Duplicate items we re not counted. Each section of the printed newspaper was also examined, and all news items were captured. Calendars and lists, such as crime logs, were each evaluated as a single item both in print and online. Each item published within 24 hours of the co llection time was captured for coding. Online allows for archival functions that print cannot, and n ews organizations often leave old information online that might generate page views News items that are undated are rare online. However, those that were p resent on the website without a date were not counted in the study. The pilot collection resulted in the capturing of 633 items. That one day total, if extended for 10 days, would have created 6,330 items, which would have been
81 impractical to code. About t wo thirds of the news items collected were international, national, and state stories produced by wire services, such as The Associated Press, McClatchy, Bloomberg and Tribune news services. As the pilot collection generated an impractical amount of mater ial, the study was made more manageable by the exclusion of wire material. The result of this exclusion was a refinement from looking at the publication of materials in print and online to the production of materials for both mediums Data Collection News organizations that subscribe to wire services decide which wire services they will use, and they often select the specific items they will use from those services (Donsbach, 2004). This study instead focused on items journalists pro duced specifically for their publications or communities. Items produced by community journalists were included in the study as the content they provided underwent editing processes by the organization s similar to those produced by full time journalists i n the newsroom I tems that are added to the online product automatically without review by journalists in the organization were also excluded from the study. For example, Mike Foley, the Sunday editor of the New Haven Register said his publication partner s with several outside organizations that upload their own content to the website automatically each day, including MSNBC ( personal communication, August 5, 2011) M ad Money sh ow directly onto the website each day without review by anyone at the Register Item selection was conducted at the same time each day, adjusting for varying time zones, on each of the collection days ( September 29, 2011; October 7, 2011;
82 Octobe r 11, 2011; October 19, 2011; October 24, 2011; November 4, 2011; November 9, 2011; November 17, 2011; November 22, 2011; and November 28, 2011) The days selected for coding were chosen using a random number table obtained from Stat Trek (2011). Subscript ions were purchased for electronic reproductions of the print editions for each newspaper organization. As of the fall of 2011, none of the newspaper and web only organizations included in the study charge d for content online. Code B ook Categories Each ite m was examined for the presence of one primary news topic from a list of 10: crime, business, sports, education, entertainment, safety/disasters/accidents, lifestyle, health, government/politics, and religion. News items that did not fit any of those 10 to Criteria for determining which topic best describes the item were derived from a study of news content conducted by the Readership Institute ( 2001 ), which asks coders to evaluate what the story is truly about, the main point of the story, and the central concept of the story. Directions for determining the primary news topic are outlined in the Readership Institute (2001) study: l ook at the actions or developments in the story, rather than the context in which they occur ; f ocus o n why this story is in publication; count paragraphs and choose the topic with the most paragraphs if stuck between two or more options ; and u se headlines or section heads as clues Each item was also examined for the presence of news values. C oders revi ewed the entire item for the presence of each of eight news values: timeliness, proximity, prominence, conflict, oddity, human interest, magnitude, and helpfulness. A dichotomous presence/absence variable was used. Regarding sourcing, each person or docu ment to whom information was attributed was counted as a news source. Thirteen categories were adapted from
83 Mason (2007) : government, military/law enforcement, business, person on the street/participant, expert/academic, entertainer, union/advocacy group, victim/defendant/witness, relative/friend, judiciary/legal, non government /community organization, protester, and athlete. Sources that did not fit into any category were tory. For example, if a movie g oer who happens to be a doctor was asked her opinion of a wa s not being asked for her opinion in her area of expertise. Documents were evaluated ba sed on the agency from which they originated. For example, a police report on a burglary Coders also examined each item for the presence of any of nine types of storytelling features adapted from a list create d by Schaudt and Carpenter (2009): text story, blog, photo/photo gallery, head shot s video, podcast, interactive reader questions, illustration graphic, and information graphic. Items that did not fit into one of ext stories include any items with text beyond a photo or video caption, excluding blogs. Blogs differ from text stories in that they are typically arranged as their own web pages frequently modified by one or two authors ( Herring, Scheidt, Bonus, & Wright 2005 ), and they are often written in a more conversational tone that encourages reader interaction (Bradshaw, 2008). Items that were clearly identified on the website as blogs were marked as such. Text articles not marked as blogs were not counted as suc h. Head shots are photos of an individual shoulders. Podcasts offer readers episodic descriptions of news stories and headlines
84 ( Scanlan, 2006). Interactive opinion quest ions are tools used to solicit reader responses or allow readers to voice their opinions regarding an issue. Illustration graphics are drawings used to draw attention to a n item or make a point about an item or subject (Stovall, 2009) and typically accompa ny a text story or other storytelling feature. I nformation graphics are used as a visual element for reporting facts and figures that may be considered a self contained unit (Quinn, 2 008). Items were also examined for the presence of breaking news. Althou gh the term has occurred (Downie & Kaiser, 2002; Heyboer, 2000), it has also been used to describe events or incidents that are not expected (Tuchman, 1973), such as crimes, accidents, natural disasters, and weather incidents. Items were coded as breaking news if the main action focused on was not expected or not known by the public prior to its occurrence. For example, the Occupy Wall Street movement in the fall of 2 011 saw hundreds of people organized in front of the New York Stock Exchange for planned protests, which would not be considered breaking news. However, several protesters were arrested throughout the movement, and many stories about the event focused on t he arrests rather than the message of the planned protest, which differentiated those items as breaking news. Similarly, a scheduled speech by an elected official would not be considered breaking news, nor would scheduled rebuttals from rival politicians, who often organize press conferences or media interviews immediately following the conference following the planned raid on Osama Bin Laden in early 2011, resulting in his dea th, would be considered breaking news, as the event was unknown to the public
85 prior to the press conference. Other expected items, such as stories examining long term trends or issues Coding To ensure co nsistency in data collection from the 12 news publications examined, the author identified news items and copied and pasted all text and photos into Microsoft Word documents. The links to other storytelling features, including videos and podcasts, were als o copied into Word documents, which coders could then click on and view or listen. To improve validity in coding the data, three undergraduates handled all of the coding. Excluding the researcher as a coder increases the validity of the study, as it requir es code book definitions to be clear and precise (Neuendorf, 2002; Stemler, 2001). Coders were trained according to strategies outlined by Neuendorf (2002). A code book using examples similar to those coders would encounter was devised. Training of coders took 23 hours, during which time the code book was repeatedly revised. Content included in the pilot study was not used for training. A fourth student who went through training dropped out of the study before coding began due to time constraints. To estab lish inter coder agreement before the study was conducted, the students coded one stories ( n = 198) that were not included in the study. Students agreed on coding 8 3 .0 % to 100 .0 % of the time for each of the variables. alpha was used to measure inter coder agreement due to its conservativeness and appropriateness for measuring samples of all sizes (Riffe, Lacy, & Fico, 2005). The inter coder agreement of variables ranged from .8 3 to 1.0 ( Article Type: 1.0; Publication Day: 1.0 ; P resentation of Information: 1.0 ; News Topic: .84 ; Conflict Value: .83 ; Human Interest Value: .90 ; Oddity Value: .87 ; Prominence Value: .93 ; Proximity Value: .94 ; Timeliness Value: .89 ; Helpfulness Value: .84 ; Magnitude: .85 ; Sources: .88 ; Breaking
86 News: .9 1 ) The .80 level is typically considered acceptable (Neuendorf, 2002; Riffe, Lacy, & Fico, 2005). To determine inter coder agreement during the study the students coded two n = 378 ) or about 19 percent of the tot al items collected. Inter coder agreement was tested on each of the variables twice during the study to ensure consistency in coding The first test was conducted in the middle of the study and the second at the conclusion of the study. The statistical pr ogram SPSS, version 20, was used to analyze data. Chi square tests for independence were used to determine statistical significance at the p < .05 level for the categorical data. The chi square test for independence is best for establishing relationships b etween two categorical variables when two or more categories are present in each (Pallant, 2010). Yates Continuity Correction was used to correct for the overstatement of results when using a 2x2 table One way between groups analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests were used to determine statistical significance at the p < .05 level for continuous variables. One way ANOVA is best for determining whether there are statistically significant differences in mean scores across three or more categories (Pallant, 201 0). Tukey HSD post hoc test s were conducted to identify differences among groups.
87 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The 10 day sample yielded a total of 1,965 news items fro m four cities: New Haven, Connecticut; Tucson, Ariz ona; Seattle, Washington; and San Francis co, Calif ornia Three of the four w eb only publications contained about half the number of news items that their newspaper counterparts did, with the exception of the Seattlepi (as shown in Table 4 1). The Seattlepi was able to produce about twice the numb er of items as the other w eb only publications largely due to its reliance on community partners and bloggers who provide a portion of its local content (Seattlepi.com, 2012). Breaking News H1a proposed a greater percentage of the total items in the web on ly publications will contain breaking news than will those in both editions of the newspaper publications Breaking news defined as any item that can be considered unexpected or unplanned, tends to be popular with online readers who value immediacy. A chi squ are test for independence revealed no significant differences in the presence of breaking news based on organization type, rejecting H1a, 2 (1, n = 1965) = 2.18, p = .135. However, a difference in the presence of breaking news was revealed when compar ing the printed version of newspapers with the two types of online publications H1b proposed a greater percentage of the total items online will be defined as breaking news than will those in newsprint. Of all the online items, 22.7% contained breaking ne ws compared to 17.8% of those in 2 (1, n = 1965) = 5.78, p = .013. Thus, there were no significant differences in the presence of breaking news between the organizations types, rejecting H1a. However, i tems online were more likely
88 to be categorized as breaking news than they were in the newsprint editions supporting H1b. Differences in the percentage s of breaking news between online and the newsprint edition can further be seen when evaluating the use of sources. Of all the b reaking news items those online were more likely to be published without a source (43.3%) than were those in the news print editions (28.2%), 2 (1, n = 408) = 9.08, p = .003 This difference is further amplified when examining both editions of the newspaper publications. About half (48.0%) of the breaking news items in the online edition of the newspapers did not contain a source compared to 28 .2% of those in the newsprint edition, 2 (1, n = 304 ) = 18 22 p < .001. The greater propensity for online publications to publish breaking news without a source when compared with the newsprint editions illustrates a key difference in the way journalists work with the two mediums that impact news definitions. Journalists traditionally can only publish a news item in print once every 24 hours, whereas online they are capable of publishing and updating items every few seconds. Thus, journalists have more ti me to interview sourc es and verify information for the newsprint edition than they do online where immediacy is perceived as essential. The lesser percentage for using sources in online breaking news items reveals more of a difference in techniques than i n the way news is defined online versus in newsprint. B reaking news items were most often found with in two topics crime and accident/disaster/public safety although th e use of items as breaking news within those topics varied by organization type. Hal f of the total numb er of accident, disaster and public safety items contained breaking news (50.0%) and 44.2% of the total
89 number of crime items contained breaking news. However, each organization type appeared to favor the inclusion of breaking news wit hin one of the topics more than the other Crime items in w eb only publications contained a higher percentage of breaking news, while both editions of the newspaper publications displayed a higher percentage for breaking news within the accident / disaster / p ublic safety topic as shown in Table 4 2 These differences may be indicative of ways in which w eb only publications and newspapers differ in their news definitions. The higher presence of breaking news items on the crime topic in w eb only publications v ersus newspapers may indicate w eb only publications are focused mostly on crime as an event, whereas other publications cover the process. Similarly, newspapers displaying a higher percentage for breaking news on the accident / disaster / public safety topic t han their w eb only counterparts may indicate newspapers are focused mostly on those occurrences as events while the w eb only publications may devote more coverage to the process. However, these differences may also be the result of differences in the defin itions created by the study. Breaking news was defined as unplanned or unexpected events. It does not take into account the commonality of events, such as crime and accidents. The definition in this study also does not account for the mere fact that someth ing was just published can lead journalists to designate an item as breaking news. Overall, the data indicate online publications have a higher proportion of items containing breaking news than do those in newsprint, supporting H1b. Within those breaki ng news items, online items were also more likely to contain no sources which is likely the result of different publishing schedules. U pdates online are possible
90 throughout the day, whereas updates in print happen once every 24 hours making immediacy mor e of a privilege online Although there were no significant differences in the presence of breaking news between the w eb only and newspaper organizations, rejecting H1a, the data indicate some variance in the presence of breaking news within the topics out lined in this study though the variations are subtle and may not be indicative of any shifts in news definitions based on organization type News Values Eight news values were examined to identify potential shifts in news definitions based on both medi um and organization type. Each item was coded for one or more of eight news values. Some news values appeared in a majority of items whereas others appeared far less frequently (as shown in Table 4 3 ). The proportions of the items within each organization type were then compared to determine whether any significant differences in the presence of news values appeared (as shown in Table 4 4). Hypotheses and Research Questions H2a proposed a greater percentage of the total items in w eb only publications will c ontain the timeliness news value than will those in both editions of the newspaper publications The timeliness value represents both breaking news and news pegged to a date. Although breaking news is only one component of the definition of timeliness, H2a proposed web only publications would display a higher percentage of timeliness items based on the ability of breaking news items to spike page views online However web only publications had significantly fewer items containing the timeliness value (40.9 %) than did both editions of the newspaper publications (55.1%), 2 (1, n = 1965) = 27.12, p < .001.
91 H2b proposed a greater percentage of the total items online will contain the timeliness news value than will those in newsprint However, there were no significant differences in the presence of the timeliness news valu e when comparing the printed version of newspapers with the two types of online publications 2 (1, n = 1965) = 3.44, p = .064. Thus, the lower percentage of the timeliness news value in the w eb only publications when compared with both editions of the ne wspaper publications supports the inverse of H2a. However, the lack of significant differences between items in online and print rejects H2b. Although online publications are more willing to provide breaking news, w eb only organizations seem to otherwise r ely on less timely evergreen items that may be published any time rather than targeted to a date. RQ1 a asked which organizational type would produce a greater percentage of news items containing the helpfulness news value. Helpfulness items include feature s that are useful to readers, providing hints or tips on products, services, or ideas that can The findings revealed a lack of significant differences between items in the w eb only publications and both editions of the newspaper publications 2 (1, n = 1965) = .25, p = .621 Similarly, RQ1b asked which medium would produce a greater percentage of news items containing the helpfulness news value. Again, there were no significant differences in the presence of the helpfulness news value when co mparing the printed version of newspapers with the two types of online publications 2 (1, n = 1965) = 0.99, p = .319. Thus, the data revealed no differences in the use of the helpfulness news value based on organization type or medium.
92 H3a proposed a gr eater percentage of the total items in both editions of the newspaper publications will contain the human interest news value than will those in w eb only publications. Human interest items typically include items about average people overcoming adversity, accomplishing goals, or coping with tragedy that are often time consuming to report and write. Thus, it was proposed w eb only organizations would focus more on breaking news items that are quick to produce rather than lengthy human interest items. However, the data revealed no significant differences in the presence of the human interest news value between the two organization types, 2 (1, n = 1965) = .09, p = .761. H3b proposed a greater percentage of the total items online would contain the human intere st news value than would those in newsprint Again, there were no significant differences revealed when comparing the printed version of newspapers with the two types of online publications 2 (1, n = 1965) = .25, p = .623. The data did not reveal a diffe rence in the use of the human interest news value, rejecting both hypotheses. Web only publications were more likely to produce stories with two news values: conflict and oddity. H4a proposed a greater pe rcentage of the total items in w eb only publication s will contain the conflict news value than will those in both editions of the newspaper publications Conflict items, which include any disagreement between two or more groups or individuals, are often viewed and recommended by online readers (Curtain, Do ugall, & Mersey, 2008; Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009). The data supported the hypothesis, as 15.7% of the items in w eb only publications contained the conflict value
93 compared to 7.6% of those in both editions of the newspaper publications, 2 (1, n = 1965) = 2 5.96, p < .001. Similarly, H5a proposed a greater percentage of the total items in w eb only publications will contain the oddity news value than will those in both editions of the newspaper publications Oddity items are those involving curious, far fetche d, or unusual occurrences or behaviors, and they tend to be emailed frequently by online readers (Curtain, Dougall, & Mersey, 2008). Again, the data supported the hypoth esis, as 10.8% of the items in w eb only publications contained the oddity value compare d to 2.8% of those in both editions of the newspaper publications, 2 (1, n = 1965) = 48.88 p < .001. Differences also emerged within the oddity news values based on the medium. H4b proposed a greater percentage of the total items online will contain the conflict news value than will those in newsprint There were no significant differences in the presence of conflict in items when comparing the printed version of newspapers with the two types of online publications rejecting H4b, 2 (1, n = 1965) = 3 34 p = .061 In addition to appearing more in w eb only publications, oddity items appeared in a higher percentage when comparing the printed version of newspapers with the two types of online publications H5b proposed a greater percentage of the total item s online will contain the oddity news value than will those in newsprint The oddity value appeared in 5.8% of the online items compared with 2.5% of those in newsprint, supporting the hypothesis, 2 (1, n = 1965) = 11.37, p = .001. Although H4a, H5a, and H5b were supported, the total number of oddity and conflict items overall was relatively small. Only 185 of the 1,965 items (9.0%) contained
94 the conflict value, and 90 items (5.0%) contained the o ddity value. By definition, oddities include rare occurrences. T hus the low number is to be expected. However, the important role conflict typically plays in defining news makes the low number of those items surprising as it challenges assertions that jour nalism is conflict based (Salmon, 2011; Shoemaker, 2006) RQ2a asked which organizational type would produce a greater percentage for news items containing the prominence news value. Prominence refers to people and organizations that carry clout or are we ll known. The prominence value was present in about one third of the items in all of the publications, with no significant differences between w eb only and both editions of the newspaper publications, 2 (1, n = 1965) = .24, p = .627. RQ2b asked which med ium would produce a greater percentage for news items containing the prominence news value. T here were also no significant differences in the presence of the prominence news value when comparing the printed version of newspapers with the two types of onlin e publications 2 (1, n = 1965) = .09, p = .763. Thus, the data revealed no differences in the use of the prominence news value based on organization type or medium. RQ3a asked which organizational type would produce a greater percentage for news items containing the mag nitude news value. Magnitude refers to language or images within an item indicating the impact of an event or occurrence. Both editions of the newspaper contained a larger percentage of the magnitude news value (9.1%) than did those in the w eb only publica tions (3.1%), 2 (1, n = 1965) = 16.43, p < .001.
95 RQ3b asked which medium would produce a greater percentage for news items containing the magnitude news value. Again, there was a difference in the proportion of magnitude items when comparing the printed version of news papers with the two types of online publications Of the online items, 5.8% contained the magnitude value compared with 9.9% in print, 2 (1, n = 1965) = 7.14, p = .008. Although there were differences revealed in the presence of the magnitude news value based on both organization type and medium, the total number of magnitude items was relatively small, as only 154 of the 1,965 items (8.0%) contained the value. Thus, the difference in the presence of the news value may not be significant enough given its small presence in the publications. RQ4a asked which organizational type would produce a greater percentage for news items containing the proximity news value. Proximity refers to a story that occurs locally Both w eb only and newspaper publications inclu ded the proximity news value most frequently in their items about 79% of the time but there were no significant differences in the proportion of items containing the news value between the organization types, 2 (1, n = 1965) = .34, p = .560. RQ4b ask ed which medium would produce a greater percentage for news items containing the proximity news value. Again, t here were also no significant differences in the presence of the proximity news value when comparing the printed version of newspapers with the t wo types of online publications 2 (1, n = 1965) = .00, p = .969 Thus, the data revealed no differences in the use of the proximity news value based on organization type or medium.
96 H6 a proposed news items produced for w eb only publications will reflect more news va lues than will those p roduced for both editions of the newspaper publications. Similarly, H6 b proposed news items produced for both types of online publications will reflect more news values than will those produced for news print. A one way between groups analysis of variance r evealed no significant difference in the mean number of news values used in news items: F (2, 1962) = .69, p = .503. Web only publications had a me an of 1.99 values per news item, the news print editions of the newspapers had a mean of 2.04, and the online editions of newspapers had a mean of 2.03. Thus, in terms of the total number of news values cited in the average item, online and print publications were nearly identical. News Values Within Publication Cities A comparison of the pairs of publications t hat compete within the four home cities selected for study revealed some variability regarding the news values used most and least frequently, though the findings indicate the use of values in news items remained fairly consistent across cities. With few e xceptions, the patterns of differences revealed when comparing news values in all publications were repeated when comparing individual publications within the cities. For example, t he conflict value, which was found in higher percentages in w eb only public ations overall, was also found in higher proportions in w eb only publications in three of the four cities. Ultimately no patterns emerged that might indicate a shift in news definitions within the publication cities based on news values. News Topics Ten news topics were also examined to identify potential shifts in news definitions based on both medium and organization type. Each item was coded as one
97 topic and the number of items on each topic varied greatly, with some used very frequently and others le ss so (as shown in Table 4 5). The proportions of the items within each organization type were then compared to determine whether any significant differences in the presence of news topics appeared (as shown in Table 4 6 ). Hypotheses and Research Questions H7a proposed a greater percentage of the total items in w eb only publications will be on the crime topic than will those in both editions of the newspaper publications. Crime stories often include breaking news, which is popular with online readers. Howe ver, there were no significant differences between w eb only and newspaper publications, 2 (1, n = 1965) = 2.79, p = .095 H7b proposed a greater percentage of the total items online will be on the crime topic than will those in newsprint Again, t here were no significant differences in the presence of the crime news topic when comparing the printed version of newspapers with the two types of online publications 2 (1, n = 1965) = 2.30, p = .128 The findings indicate there are no significant differences in the presence of crime items between online and print, rejecting both H7a and H7b. Thus the use of the crime topic does not appear to be changing as news shifts online. RQ5a asked which organizational type would produce a greater percentage f or news items on the accident/disaster/ public safety news topic. Accident / disaster / public safety ite ms include stories regarding the safety of people including both traffic crashes and plans to change traffic patterns and structures extreme weather, and other unintentional events causing damage to people or places The w eb only organizations devoted a greater proportion of their news coverage to accident/disaster/public safety
98 items (10.1%) than did both editions of the newspaper organizations (4.6%), 2 (1, n = 1965) = 6.02 p = .027 RQ5b asked which medium would produce a greater percentage for news items on the accident / disaster / public safety news topic. A difference was revealed when comparing the printed version of newspapers with the two types of online publications. Items published online were more likely to contain the accident/disaster/public safety topic (9.3%) than those in newsprint (4.8%), 2 (1, n = 1965) = 11.46, p = .001 The findings indicated online items are more likely to be on the accidents / disaster / public safety topic than those in newsprint. Although there were differences revealed in the presence of the topic, the total number of accident / disasters / public safety items was relatively small, with only 148 of the 1,965 items containing the topic (7.0%). Although vehicle collisions occur frequently, crashes that do not involve fatalities, severe injuries, or major traffic delays are no t often defined as news. RQ6a asked which organizational type would produce a greater percentage for news items on the business news topic. The business topic includes items about businesses, companies, organizations, the economy, and personal finance. T here were no significant differences in the pres ence of business items between w eb only publications and both editions of the newspaper publications, 2 (1, n = 1965) = 3.50, p = .061 RQ6b asked which medium would produce a greater percentage for news items on the business news topic. There were also no significant differences in the use of the news topic between print and online items when comparing the printed version of
99 newspapers with the two types of online publications 2 ( 1 n = 1965) = .84 p = 360 Thus, the data revealed no differences in the use of the business news topic based on organization type or medium. H8a proposed a greater percentage of the total items in w eb only publications will be on the sports topic than will those in both edi tions of the newspaper publications One web only publication the New Haven Independent did not cover sports. In order to make the comparisons valid, both New Haven publications were removed from the analysis for both H8a and H8b. It was proposed the w eb only organizations would use higher percentages for sports items personal fitness than their newspaper count erparts because sports items have historically been popular with readers However, the findings support the inverse of the proposed hypothesis Both editions of the newspaper publications contained a larger percentage for sports items (17.4%) than did web only publications ( 11.2 %), 2 ( 1 n = 1 447 ) = 7.34, p < .014 H8b proposed a greater percentage of the total items online will be on the sports topic than will those in newsprint Again, the opposite was revealed as there was a larger percentage for sports items in print when compa ring the printed version of newspapers ( 18.1 % ) with the two types of online publications ( 1 2 4 % ), 2 (1, n = 1 447 ) = 1 0 44 p < .001 H9a proposed a greater percentage for the total items in w eb only publications will be on the entertainment topic than w ill those in both editions of the newspaper publications Entertainment items include both popular media (movies, music, etc.) and
100 lifestyle activities (dining, nightlife, etc.). Previous studies have found readers often select entertainment topics online, making them appealing for organizations aiming to attract page views. However, t he hypothesis was rejected, as there were no significant differences in the presence of entertainment items between w e b only and newspaper publications, 2 (1, n = 1965) = .12, p = .728 H9b proposed a greater percentage for the total items online will be on the entertainment topic than will those in newsprint The hypothesis was supported as there was a greater percentage for the news topic online than in print when comparing the printed version of newspapers (6.5%) with the two types of online publications (10.0%), 2 (1, n = 1965) = 7.04, p = .007 RQ7a asked which organizational type would produce a greater percentage for items on the lifestyle news topic. The lifestyle topic encompasses a wide range of subjects, from philosophy to fashion to social values. Both editions of the newspaper devoted a greater portion (16.2%) of their news stories to lifestyle topics than did the web only organizations (8. 1%) 2 (1, n = 1965) = 17.70 p < .001 Similarly, RQ7b asked w hich medium would produce a greater percentage of items on the lifestyle news topic. However, there were no significant differences in the use of the lifestyle topic between print and online items when comparing the printed version of newspapers with the two types of online publications 2 (1, n = 1965) = .08, p = .769. H10a proposed a greater percentage of the total items in both editions of the newspaper publications will be on the government a nd politics topic than will those in w eb only publications Although the news topic which includes items related to elected
101 or appointed officials at all levels is valued more by print readers than by those online (Hollander, 2010) w eb only organizati ons appear to produce more government and politics items devoting nearly a quarter of their coverage to the topic. Web only publications contained a higher percentage for politics/government items (24.9%) than did both editions of the newspaper publicatio ns (17.2%) supporting the inverse of the hypothesis 2 (1, n = 1965) = 13.36, p < .001. H10b proposed a greater percentage of the total items in newsprint will be on the government and politics topic than will those online The hypothesis was rejected, as t here were no significant differences in the use of the news topic between print and online items when comparing the printed version of newspapers with the two types of online publications 2 (1, n = 1965) = .33, p = .566. The production of more polit ics/government coverage appears to be based on organization type rather than medium, as the inverse of H10a was supported, but H10b was rejected. The politics/government topic was the most frequently used topic in the w eb only publications. However, the to pic was also used frequently in the newspaper publications, being the most used in the print editions and the second most used in the online edition. The high presence of the politics/government topic in both types of publications indicates there is a sign ificant difference in the use of the topic between web only and newspaper organizations H11a proposed a greater percentage of the total items in both editions of the newspaper publications will be on the education topic than will those in w eb only publi cations Education items include all public and private primary, secondary, and post secondary education Print readers have said they desire more and longer stories
102 on the topic (Readership Institute, 2001). However, t here was no significant difference in the presence of the topic between w eb only and newspaper publications, rejecting the hypothesis, 2 (1, n = 1965) = .60, p = .435 H11b proposed a greater percentage of the total items in newsprint will be on the education topic than will those online A gain, t here was no significant difference in the use of the education topic between print and online items when comparing the printed version of newspapers with the two types of online publications 2 (1, n = 1965) = 3.74, p = .0 51 Although both hypothe ses were rejected, the number of education items in both publications was relatively small. Only 80 of the 1,965 items (4.1%) were on the education topic. H12a proposed a greater percentage of the total items in both editions of the newspaper publications will be on the health topic than will those in w eb only publications Health items included health care policies and procedures, medicine, and disease Again, print readers have said they want to read more and longer stories on the topic (Readership Insti tute, 2001). However, the hypothesis was rejected, as there was no significant difference in the presence of health items between the w eb only publications and both editions of the newspaper publications, 2 (1, n = 1965) = 1.84, p = .177 H12b proposed a greater percentage of the total items newsprint will be on the health topic than will those in online Again, t here was no significant difference in the use of the education topic between print and online items when comparing the printed
103 version of newsp apers with the two types of online publications 2 (1, n = 1965) = 3.40, p = .069 Both hypotheses were rejected, indicating there are no significant differences in the presence of health items based on organization type or medium. Once again, the total number of items on the health topic was small: 55 of the 1,965 items. RQ8a asked w hich organizational type would produce a greater percentage of news items on the religion news topic, and RQ8b asked which medium produced a greater percentage of news items on the religion news topic. Of the 1,965 items collected, only nine were coded as having the religion news topic which are too few to conduct a chi square analysis News Topics Within Publication Cities As was revealed among the news values, a comparison of the pairs of publications that compete wit hin the four home cities revealed some variability regarding news topics, though the findings mainly indicated the use of topics was fairly consistent across cities. The topics appearing most often in w eb only and newspaper publications overall typically r eflected the same patterns when examining the use of those topics by individual publications within each of the four cities. For example, t he disaster / accident / public safety topic, which was found in higher percentages in w eb only publications overall, was also found to have a higher percentage in w eb only publications in two of the four cities. Thus, no patterns emerged that would indicate a shift in news definitions based on the publication city. Sources Thirteen categories were used to classify sources in a story to whom or which information was attributed. For the purposes of testing the proposed hypothesis
104 regarding the use of non official sources, these categories were further collapsed into two groups based on the capacity in which they spoke (Armstr ong & Nelson, 2005): official and non official. Source types in the official category were government, military/law enforcement, business, athletes, expert/academic, union/advocacy group, non government/community organization, and judiciary/legal. Sources identified as n on official source types were: person on the street/participant, entertainer, victim/defendant/witness, relative/friend, and protester. H13a proposed a greater percentage of the total sources used in w eb only publications will be non officia l compared with those in both editions of the newspaper publications. About one quarter of the sources used by all of the organizations were non official (24.1%). Contrary to previous research indicating w eb only journalists are more willing to embrace onl ine technologies to interact with readers and obtain sources (Domingo, 2008), w eb only publications did not use a significantly greater percentage of non official sources than did newspapers, rejecting the hypothesis, 2 (1, n = 2333) = 3.47, p = .057. H13b proposed a greater percentage of the total sources used in online items will be non official compared to those in print items. There were also no significant differences in the use of non official sources between on line and newsprint when comparing the printed version of newspapers with the two types of online publications rejecting the hypothesis 2 (1, n = 2333) = 2.74, p = .078 Although there were no significant differences in the use of official and non offici al sources between organization types or mediums, an examination of the ways in which non official sources were used by w eb only and newspaper organizations revealed one
105 finding illustrating differences in the use of non official sources by organization ty pe N on official sources made up 32.8% of the total sources in conflict items in w eb only publications, compared to o 2 (1, n = 380) = 5.03, p = .027. The greater use of non official sources by w eb only publications than by newspapers demonstrates willingness by those organizations to look beyond official reports to report on co nflict items, potentially changing the ways in which a conflict is recounted in a story. The use of non official sources in conflict items may also indicate w eb only publications are willing to define those items without official sources as news but there is no evidence to suggest any other significant differences in the use of non official sources Although this finding illustrates one difference in the use of non official sources between w eb only and newspaper publications proposed in H13a, there is li ttle evidence to suggest w eb only organizations are shifting to incorporate more non official sources as they define news. In fact, the use of person on the street/participant sources in crime items provides one piece of evidence disputing the proposal tha t w eb only organizations use more non official sources than newspapers. B oth editions of the newspaper publications were more likely to use person on the street/participant sources in those items (20.6%) than did w eb 2 (1, n = 301) = 5.28, p = .016. Thus, there is little evidence to suggest w eb only organizations may be defining some items as news in different ways based on their use of non official sources. In considering the number of s ources used, two patterns emer ged, both of which showed newspapers on average contained more sources than did items in web only publications. The first involved instances in which no source was cited for an item. The
106 online publications were more likely to have a story without a source 42.5% of the items in the w eb only publications and 41.0% of the items in the online edition of the newspapers than were newsprint editions, for which only 31.7% of items lacked a 2 ( 2 n = 1965) = 18.23, p < .001. The second involved a difference in the mean number of sources used in news items, F (2, 1962) = 10.19, p = .012. A Tukey HSD post hoc test affirmed that the mean number of sources used by newsprint editions ( M = 1.41, SD = 1.40) was more than for the online versions of those newspapers ( M = 1.18, SD = 1.33) and the w eb only publications ( M = 1.06, SD = 1.36). Although this difference in the n umber of sources used by w eb only and newspaper organizations reached statistical significance at the p < .0 5 level, the actual difference between the two organization types is relatively small, with both containing an average of about one source per item. Of course, those two data points are related having fewer stories without a source would logically lead to having a higher average number of sourc es cited. But the finding that newspapers cite more sources sheds light on H13 and the hypothesized prope nsity of w eb only publications to use more non official sources. Overall, online publications use fewer sources, period. Web only publications appear to be the most notable representatives of this shift toward using fewer sources online. Web only publicati ons had a higher percentage of items featuring only one source (32.1%) than did either edition of the newspaper (25.9%), 2 (1, n = 1965) = 6.68, p = .014 Web only publications also had fewer items containing two or more sources (25.4%) than either editio n of the newspaper (37.8%), 2 (1, n = 1965) = 13.18, p = .010 These findings indicate w eb only organizations may
107 use different techniques to report news, though they do not reveal any real differences in news definitions Presentation of Information H1 4 proposed news items produced for w eb only publications will include more storytelling features per news item than will those produced for the online editions of the newspaper publications. There was a difference in the mean number of storytelling feature s per news item when comparing the w eb only publications with the online editions of the newspapers F (2, 1229 ) = 1 26.59 p < .0 0 1. A Tukey HSD post hoc test affirmed the mean number of storytelling features used per news item in w eb only publications ( M = 2.03 SD = .58) was more than those in the online editions of the newspapers ( M = 1. 62 SD = 63 ), supporting the hypothesis. Additionally, the actual difference in mean number of sources used between the groups was medium, according to Cohen (1988) wh o classified .06 as a medium effect and .14 as a large effect lending more support to the hypothesis. The effect size, calcula ted using eta squared, was 0 9 The w eb only publications provided a higher percentage for most of the storytelling features tha n the online editions of the newspaper publications did (as shown in Table 4 5 ). The audio slideshow, podcast, and interactive opinion questions categories were excluded from the findings as there were less than five of each within the organizations, rende ring the determination of differences imp ossible. The findings indicate w eb only publications are more likely to include methods for storytelling online that differ from text than the online editions of newspapers.
108 Table 4 1. Distribution of news items w ithin publications grouped by city City a Publications News items Frequency Percentage New Haven (population: 129,779) New Haven Independent 88 4.5% New Haven Register (print) 202 10.3% New Haven Register (online) 230 11.7% Total: 520 26 .5% Tucson (population: 520,116) TucsonSentinel 82 4.2% Arizona Daily Star (print) 163 8.3% Arizona Daily Star (online) 164 8.3% Total: 409 20.8% Seattle (population: 608,660) Seattlepi 180 9.2% The Seattle Times (print) 168 8.5% The Seattle Times (online) 180 9.2% Total: 528 26.9% San Francisco (population: 805,235) The Bay Citizen 94 4.8% San Francisco Chronicle (print) 201 10.2% San Francisco Chronicle (online) 213 10.8% Total 508 25.8% Total Items: 1,965 100.0 % a Population estimates are for the home cities (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010).
109 Table 4 2. The percentage of crime and accident/disaster/public safety items containing breaking news by organization type News topic Organization Types Web only publications Newspapers print and web 2 Crime ** (n = 240) 58.5% 38.6% 8.07 Accidents/disaster/public safety *** (n = 146) 57.5% 28.9% 12.96 ** = p < .01, *** = p < .001
110 Table 4 3. Descriptive chart of the total number of items containing each news value. News value Frequency of news values in items Percentage of items containing the news values Proximity 1,549 38.90 % Timeliness 1,019 25.59 % Prominence 587 14.74 % Human Interest 240 6.03 % Conflict 185 4.65 % Helpfulness 159 3.99 % Magnitude 153 3.84 % Oddity 90 2.26 % Total: 3 ,9 82
111 Table 4 4 Presence of values within news items by publication type. News value Web only Newspaper (print edition) Newspaper (web edition) H2 Tim eliness *** 40.9% ( n = 182) 54.6% ( n = 395) 55.5% ( n = 436) RQ1 Helpfulness 7.4% ( n = 33) 7.6% ( n = 56) 8.9% ( n = 70) H3 Human Interest 11.7% ( n = 52) 12.9% ( n = 95) 11.8% ( n = 93) H4 Conflict *** 15.7% ( n = 70) 9.4% ( n = 69) 5.8% ( n = 4 6) H5 Oddity *** 10.8% ( n = 48) 2.5% ( n = 18) 3.2% ( n = 25) RQ2 Prominence 30.6% ( n = 136) 29.2% ( n = 214) 30.1% ( n = 237) RQ3 Magnitude ** 3.1% ( n = 14) 9.9% ( n = 73) 8.4% ( n = 66) RQ4 Proximity 78.7% ( n = 350) 78.1% ( n = 565) 79.7% ( n = 626) = p < .05, = p < .01, *** = p < .001
112 Table 4 5. D istribution of news topics among all items collected. News topic Frequency Percentage Politics/government 370 18.83% Sports 286 14.55% Lifestyle 282 14.35% Crime 240 12.21% Business 227 11.55% Entertainment 173 8.80% Disaster/accident/public safety 146 7.43% Other 95 4.83 % Education 81 4.12% Health 56 2.85% Religion 9 0.46% Total: 1,965
113 Tabl e 4 6 Presence of topics within news items by publication type. News topic Web only Newspaper (print edition) Newspaper (web edition) H7 Crime 14.6 % ( n = 65 ) 10.8 % ( n = 79 ) 12.2 % ( n = 96 ) RQ5 Accidents, disasters, public safety *** 10.1 % ( n = 45 ) 4.8 % ( n = 35 ) 8.4 % ( n = 66 ) RQ6 Business 14.2 % ( n = 63 ) 10.6 % ( n = 78 ) 10.9 % ( n = 86 ) H8 Sports *** 9.0 % ( n = 40 ) 18.4 % ( n = 135 ) 14.1 % ( n = 38.8 ) H9 Entertainment ** 9.2 % ( n = 41 ) 6.5 % ( n = 4 8) 10.7 % ( n = 84 ) RQ7 Lifestyle *** 8.1 % ( n = 36) 14.7 % ( n = 108 ) 17.6 % ( n = 138 ) H10 Government/politics *** 24.9 % ( n = 111 ) 19.5 % ( n = 143 ) 14.8 % ( n = 116 ) H11 Education 3.4 % ( n = 15 ) 5.3 % ( n = 39 ) 3.4 % ( n = 27 ) H12 Health 1.8 % ( n = 8 ) 3.8 % ( n = 28 ) 2.5 % ( n = 20 ) RQ8 Religion 0.4 % ( n = 2 ) 0.4 % ( n = 3 ) 0.5 % ( n = 4 ) Other 4.3 % ( n = 19 ) 5.2 % ( n = 38 ) 4.8 % ( n = 38 ) = p < .05, = p < .01, *** = p < .001
114 Table 4 7 The percentage of news items containing each storytelling feature by organization type Storytelling features Organization Types Web only publications Newspaper web editions 2 Blogs *** 14.2% 3.8% 61.93 Illustration graphics *** 7.6% 1. 1 % 33.66 Information graphics *** 8.8% 1.3% 39.79 Head shots *** 12.6% 6.0 % 15.32 Photo/photo gallery *** 62.0% 4 5.4 % 30.69 Text story ** 82.9% 89.2 % 9.27 Video *** 13.7% 5.7% 30.37 = p < .0 5 ** = p < .01, *** = p < .001
115 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The purpose of this study was to determine whether news content differed among web only publications and the print and online editions of newspapers as news shifts from print to online. While s ome differences were revealed, the data indicate web only and newspaper organizations largely define news similarly, according to the criteria used in this study. The theory of the firm was used to predict web only organizations have a greater financial ne ed to attract page views online than do newspaper organizations, resulting in higher proportions of news values and topics that appeal to online readers being found in web only publications. However, news definitions varied little between web only publicat ions and their newspaper counterparts in print and online. Although the web only publications vary in their origin, with some having evolved from the remains of now non existent newspapers and others having started from scratch, the definitions and values used in web only publications largely mirror those used by their newspaper counterparts. Meaningful Distinctions in News Definitions While the study largely showed content in web only and newspaper publications to be quite similar, the larger proportion o f timeliness items in newspapers compared with web only publications revealed one meaningful difference between the organizations. Despite their potential for embracing immediacy, web only publications focused more on timeless items with longer shelf lives than did their newspaper counterparts. Unlike perishable print, which is tossed after a day, website stories can remain archived and are found by search engines, making them appealing for drawing web hits over longer periods of time (Bazilian, 2012). Such timeless articles tend to
116 focus more on practical advice, background stories, and how to articles, which could be useful for drawing in readers to web only publications that they may not have known about previously (Farhi, 2010). Thus, those organizations may be shying away from tough competition with newspapers for breaking news and instead trying to draw more page views online by producing more items that could be relevant over longer periods of time. Another meaningful difference was revealed regardin g the proportion of sports items between online and print publications. Sports constituted a larger portion of the news offered in printed publications than with either only publications. While sports has historically been one o f the most read sections in print newspapers since its inclusion became a widespread practice in the mid 1800s (Wanta, 2006), sports has become a niche product online. Instead of turning to their local publications online, readers with inclinations to seek content geared toward their specific interests (Tewksbury, 2005) may choose to visit websites devoted to sports journalism, such as ESPN.com or even a public relations site, such as MLB.com rather than scanning a myriad amount of articles that do not pe rtain to their interests (Hoffmeister, 2010). Sports teams are also siphoning away sports readers by providing exclusive insider coverage of the team on their own websites and blogs rather than sharing news with journalists (Fry, 2011). The inclusion of f ewer sports stories online was even more apparent among the web only publications, which devoted 9.0% of their coverage to the topic compared with the 16.3% provided by print and online editions of the newspapers. A previous study of local, web only sites supported this finding, revealing those sites often contain very little
117 sports news (Viall, 2009). The web provide as much coverage of sports in areas where sporting events were adequately covered by a newspaper. Web only publications in this study may have done the same, deferring to the newspaper organizations for sports coverage in order to concentrate on other topics. The lack of sports coverage in web only publications may also be related to dispa rities in the staff sizes between newspapers and their online only counterparts. The web only organizations included in this study have one or two sports reporters on staff, compared with the 10 or more staffing sports desks at the newspapers. At the web o nly Seattlepi the sports depart ment consists of one journalist who is responsible addition to covering college sports. One former Seattlepi time job covering one team let alone five or More Alike Than Different Differences emerged in only four of the eight news values and five of the 10 news topics. Overall, the data are likely the result of random variations and do not reveal patterns showing news definitions are changing. For example, web only publications had greater percentages for items containing the conflict and oddity values. While these differences were proposed i n the hypotheses, the amounts of those values within the total number of items were relatively small, with only 9.0% containing the conflict value and 5.0% containing the oddity value. As neither print nor online publications devoted even one tenth of thei r coverage to items containing either news value, differences of
118 about 4 percentage points in the presence of conflict or oddity by organization type or medium are too small to indicate a shift in news definitions. Similarly, the mean number of storytelli ng items used by newspapers in their online editions compared with those used by web only publications was statistically significant with a medium effect size. Web only publications had a higher mean number of storytelling features per item (2.03) than did newspaper online editions (1.62). However, both online publications average about two storytelling features per news item, making them relatively similar. Although the findings contradicted many of the predicted hypotheses based on previous studies, ther e is some research revealing similar instances of content homogeneity among organization types found here. One study comparing local, web only sites with the online editions of newspapers found both types of organizations share similar focuses on local pol itics and community news stories, having devoted nearly identical proportions of their coverage to those items ( Viall, 2009). Two studies by Maier (2010a; 2010b) also highlighted content similarities among web only and newspaper publications. One study rev ealed 60.0% of the top stories on web only sites were the same as those covered by other media, including newspapers, television, and radio (Maier, 2010a). A second study later that year found although newspapers provide longer, more detailed stories than online only publications, the topics on which both focused were similar (Maier, 2010b). A few s tudies of print and online content also supported some of the findings of the study, indicating ways in which the articles produced for each medium were similar Quandt (2008) His study of
119 10 news sites from five countries revealed online sites mirrored print news in their coverage of politics and local events (Quandt, 2008). A comparison of newspaper front pages and their online home pages in 14 countries found similarities in the topics used and the ways in which stories were reported (Van Der Wurff, et al., 2008). A study of news coverage of the 2008 presidential elections found news coverage of the topic online to be similar to coverage in print (Just, Belt, & Crigler, 2008). Another study of print and online editions of newspapers found no difference in the provision of content that propels readers to act between the two editions (Hoffman, 2006). Thus, some evidence of print and online homogeneity supported the findings, though justification for the proposed hypotheses also existed. Common Roots The primary finding of this study, that news definitions varied little betw een print and online, may reflect the relative newness of online journalism and the tendency of the profession to react slowly to technological change. History has shown that journalists tend to take old habits with them when transferring to new media. Tel adapted those values and traditions to broadcast (Edwin, 1972; McClure & Patterson, 1976 ). Broadcasters Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, anchors of the popular 1950s television news show, The Huntley Brinkley Report got their starts in radio and newspapers, respectively, and they brought with them the writing, reporting, and interviewing skills they learned in their previous fields to the program (Waite, 2012). When the Federal Communications Commission required television stations to reading newspaper and wire information nearly verbatim on air (Hinds, 1995). It was not
120 until about a decade later that television news stations began to change their formats and looked to early adopters, such as the KDKA station out of Pittsburgh, which offered live feeds, hard news and feature stories, and coverage of many topics commonly seen today. In the 1990s, newspapers were slow to embrace the possibilities of online meaning the content online was nearly identical to that which was in print (Brown, 1999). Newspapers were also ca utious not to scoop themselves by putting information online before it could be distributed via print. It has only been in the last few years that newspapers began putting information online that either did not make it into the print product or was produce d as an extra multimedia feature for online readers (Smith, 2005). Still, Quandt (2008) argued online news sites have yet to embrace the interactive and multimedia technologies online that could differentiate them from printed newspapers, but a transition may be underway. Similarly, interviews with website producers revealed an eagerness to embrace interactive technologies for communicated with audiences to improve news content, but those journalists were reluctant to adopt the technologies because they wer e not sure how to incorporate them into the site (Chung, 2007). When embracing new technologies, adopters typically approach what is unknown by applying that which is known. McLuhan (1964) argued old media become the content of a new medium. Old terminol ogy with which users are comfortable is often applied, as
121 Americans understand and embrace a new technology with which they were not fa miliar (Jacobson, 2010). Some experie nced journalists have left their longtime newspaper employers for online only publications, bringing their expertise and learned news definitions with them (Tenore, 2011 b ). As with early radio and television broadcasters, who often came from newspaper back grounds, former print newspaper journalists often staff web only organizations. Web only journalists sharing common roots with newspaper journalists could partially account for the lack of differences in news definitions between print and online, as long t enured print journalists transfer their news values and news definitions to their new mediums Organizational Socialization socialization. Organizational socialization the proc ess through which new employees in organizat ions learn to espouse organizational values is not simply learned and forgotten upon transferring jobs. Some socialization outcomes are often learned quickly, such as performance proficiency and history, which may be neglected once finding new employment. However, the adoption of organizational based values may take longer, but they can also last longer (Morrison, 1993). Socialization effects typically remain in place until an employee undergoes a process of res ocialization, learning new organizational practices and values and discarding the previously learned behaviors and attitudes (Ferrante, 2011). However, there has been no evidence to suggest journalists who migrate from newspapers to web only organizations are undergoing a resocialization process.
122 Journalists have been reluctant to change at least initially, because change is often accompanied by layoffs, downsizing, and expectations to do more with less (Deuze, 2007). Journalists at web only organizations are likely carrying with them the values and behaviors learned through socialization processes undertaken at previous newspaper jobs. Newcomers to the field without previous journalism experience are likely being socialized both formally and informally by co workers at web only organizations who have retained those learned effects. Journalism Structures During the socialization process, journalists learn about journalism structures which are routines for gathering information efficiently that influence what items journalists define as news (Lowrey, 2006). Newspapers and web only publications may be structured in similar ways, leading to similarities in the content produced by both types of organizations. One journalism structure that helps shape news a cross media types is the beat system. The web only organizations included in this study organize their journalists by assigning them particular subjects to cover that are similar to those used by their newspaper counterparts (Fishman, 1980; Tuchman, 1978). The journalism beat structure makes it so reporters rely on a set group of organizations and people, who are to be contacted regularly for story ideas, limiting their scope for defining items as news (Lowes, 1999; Tuchman 1978) One study largely ignored by news organizations with beat systems (Tuchman, 1978). The beat system prompted journalists on the politics beat to define political stories, such as elections and legislative actions, as news, but the absence of a specialized topics beat defining process.
123 Thus, with similar beat systems in place, web only and newspaper organizations may define news within similar confines. Story str uctures can also lead to homogeneity in news definitions, with both print and online publications using the inverted pyramid writing style when constructing hard news stories to convey information in order from what the journalist deems most to least impor events or conflicts that have just happened or are about to happen, such as crimes, 17 ). Both print and online journalists use the inverted pyramid story structure often to convey to readers the most crucial information as quickly as possible (Cawley, 2008; Rich, 2010). The use of the inverted pyramid story structure by both newspaper and w eb only organizations may account for some of the similarities in news content, particularly regarding breaking news, in which the writing style is frequently used. Research on newspaper journalism structures may also shed light on the lack of difference s in the use of non official sources by web only and newspaper organizations and the scant difference in the number of sources used per item by those organizations (both average about one source per item). One study comparing print and online rk revealed journalists on different platforms did not use different techniques in reporting; rather differences emerged only after the news gathering process was completed (Reich, 2011). D eadlines are journalism structures that encourage news routines, co nstrict ing journalists and promoting efficiency The use of deadlines prompt journalists to turn to more official sources with whom they are familiar instead of non official sources in search of easily accessible quotes and information,
124 resulting in simila r source types being used by journalists at both web only and newspaper organizations. One study of metropolitan newspapers found journalists who went online to find sources faster and more efficiently continued to rely on the same types of official source s used before the Internet was commonly used in newsrooms (Hansen & Ward, 1994), indicating news routines for turning to official sources may not fade even as journalists adopt interactive tools for defining and reporting news. News structures are employe d even when news events go beyond the ordinary to upset routines and surprise journalists. Studies have revealed journalists use news structures to process events for which they are otherwise unprepared to cover (Olsson, 2010). News structures prompt journ alists to define such crises as news items, and they rely on existing news structures to define news quickly as events unfold (Sumpter, 2000). For example, one study examining the news coverage of an Air Force fighter jet that accidentally crashed into a b ank and hotel, killing 10 people, revealed j ournalists who had never reported on such a disaster drew on their experience covering fires and car crashes to decide how they would report and write the story (Berkowitz, 1992). Similarly, newspaper journalists have traditionally embraced the news structure of favoring official sources when covering protests. One study found newspaper journalists often represent protesters as deviants when they are rallying against a government agency or official, and journalist s most often quote official sources when reporting these stories (McCluskey et al., 2009). This same practice of using existing news structures to report on events may be common at web only publications, as well. Limitations Content analyses are appropriat e for empirical evaluations of published content, but they can pinpoint only manifest differences and similarities, not why they occur
125 (Krippendorff, 2004). Quantitative c ontent analyses focus mainly on frequencies and percentages, which can cause research ers to overlook the meaning behind the numbers (Poetschke, 2003). Content analyses have also been criticized as being subjective in that coders make decisions that may differ from those made by others viewing the same material. Coders are more likely to ag ree on information that does not involve judgment, such as the number of sources used in a story, and less likely to agree on variables that require interpretation such as the determination of which news values are present. The careful training of coders and the use of definitions grounded in previous research can lead to high levels of inter coder agreement, which adds to the validity of the study. However, subjectivity remains a limitation of all content analyses, as researchers attempting to replicate t he study may interpret the same data in different ways. The macro level variables used in this study provided a rich set of data revealing a great deal of content homogeneity among the newspaper and web only organizations. However, other variables may hav e illuminated ways in which the content in those organization types differ more definitively at the micro level. For example, examinations of the adjectives that modify nouns have been used to examine news stories for bias (Kinnick, 1998). A deeper analysi s of the words and phrases used in topics and news values counted in this study might have revealed more significant differences than were uncovered in this study. Similarly, the broad scope of the variables used may have been a limitation to identifying content differences among the publications. For example, the government/politics variable encompasses an expansive range of stories, from elections
126 to legislation to regulation, and can involve participants at all levels of government, from the White House to a city parks and recreation department. Although the variables used in this study have been used in others, they cast a wide net, which may have prevented the revelation of some significant differences. Therefore, although there were no significant dif ferences in the coverage of crime by newspaper and web only publications, there may have been differences in the coverage of violent crimes versus white collar crimes that may have been significant. Similarly, the ways in which variables were defined in t he study was a limitation. For example, the b reaking news variable was defined as any unplanned or unexpected events. However, that definition does not take into account the commonality of events, such as crime and accidents. Thus, even though car crashes occur with great regularity, the unexpectedness of such an event occurring at a specific time and in a specific place would have led to a story on the crash being defined as breaking news in this study. The definition of breaking news in this study also do es not account for the mere fact that something was just published can lead journalists to designate an item as breaking news. News organizations will often label items online that have just been published as breaking news, even if they appear to have litt le timely value. This study did not recognize those items as breaking news, even if the organization did. Another limitation specific to t his study is that it may not contain all web only and newspaper organizations sharing a common home city in the U.S. that meet the criteria of the study. The four selected were the only ones found that fit the study criteria, but others may have existed.
127 Also, t he criteria used to determine which organizations to study limited the pool of web only organizations to those that fairly closely replicated the general interest purpose of a nearby newspaper. However, the Internet encourages niche publications that transcend geography and target audiences more specific than newspapers can serve. Thus, differences in news definit ions may be occurring online just not at the type s of web only organization studied. T he exclusion of Saturdays and Sundays from this study represents another limitation. Because some organizations did not publish news items or published a limited numbe r of news items during the weekend while others published regularly on Saturdays and Sundays, weekend days were excluded from the study to standardize comparisons of news definitions. Nevertheless, the exclusion of Saturdays and Sundays from the study resu lted in some disparity in the news items selected, which may have Future Research news definitions used by web only organizations and their newspaper counterparts. Future res earch could build on the similarities revealed in the study to determine why so few differences occurred by studying the work habits of journalists within those organizations. An ethnographic study involving interviews, participant observation, and surveys of journalists from both types of organizations as they report news stories could offer insight into the production of news to determine the extent to which learned news defining processes used by newspaper journalists are mirrored by those working at web only organizations. Other variables could also be used to determine whether newspaper and web only organizations differ in their use of content. This study revealed few differences in
128 the use of topics, news values, sources, and storytelling features am ong print and online publications. However, differences may manifest regarding ways in which information is emphasized in print and online. Although print and online publications may devote similar proportions of their coverage to the same topics and news values in ways that often contradicted the hypotheses presented in this study, news organizations may prioritize those items differently in print versus online, emphasizing those topics and news values known to attract readers online higher in their online editions than in print. Similarly, future studies could further evaluate the use of breaking news within news organizations by refining the definition provided in this study. Researchers could examine those items by expanding the definition to include t hose that the news organizations themselves designate as breaking news. The definition of breaking news could also be restricted to exclude items that happen with great regularity, such as car crashes or burglaries, limiting the scope to uncommon events, s uch as natural disasters. Longitudinal studies could be used to determine if and how news definitions are changing over time. Technology allowing researchers to systematically and routinely capture news online could aid studies of the transition to embra ce new media. A web developer for the Los Angeles Times launched in May 2012 a screen capture technology called PastPages that saves images of the home pages of about 70 news sites every hour (Myers, 2012). Such technology could allow researchers to observ e changes in online news over time that could shed light on whether news definitions are changing and in what ways.
129 Studies comparing content in niche publications versus newspapers and news websites could also be used to evaluate news definitions. For ex ample, do national political niche publications online, such as Politico define news differently from other types of publications that produce national political news, such as the Washington Post ? Similarly, studies comparing investigative news sites onli ne, such as the Investigative News Network and ProPublica with national and international newspapers could also reveal differences in news definitions. Content differences among the print and online editions of newspapers could also be examined to determ ine whether those organizations significantly vary their offerings to appeal to print readers and online readers independently. Although this study revealed few significant differences in the proportion of topics, news values, sources, and storytelling fea tures in newspapers versus web only organizations, differences may be present among the two types of publications offered by newspaper organizations. Conclusion The rapid adoption of the Internet in the United States has led to more people consuming news online, but the way those readers access news has changed. The linear news format familiar to print readers has given way to a nonlinear, even customizable, approach to consuming news, creating challenges for news gatekeepers. In print, readers tend to re ad from top to bottom, from right to left, and from section to section. Online readers often access news in one of two ways: by typing questions, words, or phrases of particular interest to them into a search engine and selecting among the first few result s listed or by visiting websites and clicking on whatever catches their eye. However, the purpose of this study was not to determine what news
130 items are most viewed by readers in print and online, as previous research and online metrics have already reveal ed many of those preferences; rather, it was to determine what content was being given to them. preferences for topics and news values (Beam, 2003; Domingo, 2008; Hamilton, 200 7; McManus, 1994). Print journalists traditionally relied on reader surveys to determine what topics readers preferred, and they used that knowledge when defining what items would be news. In recent years, the availability of online metrics offers feedback that is most by online readers. Research has revealed print and online readers do not often prefer to read the same topics or news values (Hollander, 2010; Maier, 201 0a; Pew Research Center for the People & the Press; Tewskbury & Althaus, 2000). Based on the theory of the firm, which posits organizations will give primacy to their economic interests, it was proposed web only and newspaper organizations would define new s differently, providing more coverage of topics and news values that would best attract their distinctive audie nces. Some differences between news definitions in web only and newspaper publications emerged, but overall differences were infrequent and mo st were not substantial. The relative lack of differences may be the result of structural and socialization influences journalists carry with them as they shift from work ing in print to working online. These findings conflict with the theory of the firm, a s journalists in these organizations may be giving primacy to socialization and structural influences rather
131 than allowing reader preferences for topics and news values to be the primary determinant in the news defining process. Such prioritization of pro fessional values over financial interests could result in the loss of some readers, which in turn could lead to losses in advertising revenue. With losses in revenue come cuts in staff, which most U.S. newspapers have suffered since the mid 2000s (Irvine, 2012). When losses in staff have lessened the quality of the newspapers, readers have become frustrated, and circulation figures dropped even lower from 2009 to 2012 (Haughney, 2012). Losses in circulation, in turn, led to further losses in in print advert ising revenue, which have forced several newspapers to cut Research, 2012). Thus, the prioritization of journalism structures and socialization processes over financial incent ives to satisfy distinct print and online readerships could cause more news organizations to falter. The relative paucity of differences in news definitions among newspaper and web only publications could have an impact that is farther reaching than the jo urnalism industry. When news organizations focus primarily on the same topics and news values and rely on the same types of sources and storytelling features, there is a risk of homogeneity in content that could be harmful to democratic processes. Differen t media have traditionally defined news distinctly from one another, prioritizing different topics and news values, which provided news consumers with a greater variety of content (Schudson, 2003). Researchers have warned of the dangers of a lack of conten t governance
132 only organizations are defining news in largely the same ways, there is little room for content div ersity. News consumption online is already more of a collective effort than it is in print. Social technologies have removed barriers to collective actions (Shirky, 2008), including news consumption. More news consumers are sharing the news they read with friends and family via social media (Lavrusik, 2010) or even using customizable news applications, such as t he Washington Post Social Reader which allows users to share news content they are viewing with friends and to view the content being read by their friends. Similarly, the availability of lists of the most read stories on news websites often prompts readers to select those stories online (Tenore, 2011a), further reducing the variety of content online news readers consume, thus narrowing the diversity of content being read even more. their behaviors. Cultivation theory posits the more time people spend consuming media, the more likely they are to believe the real world will reflect that which has been portrayed in the media (Morgan & Shanahan, 2010). If there are few differences in the topics and news values being used by different types of news organizations, news consumers may be less likely to challenge that which is pres ented to them and they may make decisions based without a variety of information. This lack of variety in news definitions may result in one of two outcomes: a lack of public discourse that is based on an array of information, harming the democratic proce ss, or readers could turn away from general interest news organizations online in search of items that satisfy their
133 Ultimately, differences may exist in what readers in print and online are selecting as news rather than how web only and newspaper organizations define it. One study revealed online readers select different items from print readers when presented with news stories from the same publication, with those who r ead online selecting fewer national, international, and political stories than those reading in print (Tewksbury & Althaus, 2000). Not only did online readers in the study consume different news stories, they were less likely to recognize and recall news e vents published by the organization. Thus, news definitions in web only and newspaper organizations may not be distinct, but the ways in which print and online readers select the news they consume are changing.
134 APPENDIX A CODE BOOK Article Coding Exp lanations 1. Coder ID number: 1. Student A 2. Student B 3. Student C 2. Item ID number : Each article will be assigned a 4 digit ID number beginning with 1001. 3. Article type: 1. New Haven Independent 2. Seattlepi.com 3. TucsonSentinel 4. The Bay Citizen 5. N ew Haven Register (print) 6. New Haven Register (online) 7. Seattle Times (print) 8. Seattle Times (online) 9. Arizona Daily Star (print) 10 Arizona Daily Star (online) 11. San Francisco Chronicle (print) 12. San Francisco Chronicle (online) 4. Day of p ublication: 1. Monday 2. Tuesday 3. Wednesday 4. Thursday 5. Friday 5. Presentation of information (select all that are included with each item): 1. Text story 2. Photo/photo gallery 3. Head shot 4. Blogs 5. Video 6. Podcast 7. Interactive opinion questions 8. Illustration g raphics 9. Information graphics
135 10. Other 6 News topic: ( coding explanation from the Readership Institute, 2001; topic descriptions adapted from Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009, and Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 2008) Most stories can be coded as containing several different topics. Select one topic that is the most prominent in the story. In order to determine which topic is the most prominent, answer the following questions : 1. What is this story really about? 2. What is the main point in the story? 3. What is the central concept described in the story? To answer these questions, use the following guidelines: 1. Look at the actions or developments in the story, rather than the context in which they occur. 2. Focus on why this story is in t he paper at all usually something has to happen (a news peg) that can give you a clue about how to classify the story. 3. If you cannot decide between two themes (or more) you can resort to paragraph counting (i.e. choose the theme that has more paragra phs in the story). 4. Use headlines or section heads as clues only: a story in the Business section is more than likely to include information relating to business, but it should not For Example: A story a bout the theft of the Oscar statues can be seen as a crime story or as an entertainment story. I n this case we would select the crime theme because that is the main occurrence in the story; the act of theft is what the story is about. The fact that it happ ened in the context of entertainment (and that it possibly appeared in a section on entertainment), should not lead you to code the theme as entertainment. 1. Crime: A report of illegal activities or the arrest, trial or convicti on of one or more parties. T his may include white collar crime/corruption, crime trends (such as statistical data on crimes or a national crime survey), crime deterrence, and trials regarding a specific crime event. Celebrity trials and scandals are excluded from this. 2. Business: A s tory containing information about a public or private business, company or organization. Business stories may also have included real estate, money, or con sumer news. 3. Disaster/accident/public safety: Refers to stories that address any out of the ordinary weather events and trends, along with stories about non intentional events that injure, kill or cause damage including man made
136 disasters, natural disasters, fires commonplace, fires wide devastation, unusual weather, natural phenomena with little or no da mage (such as small earthquakes). These may also include stories where the safety of an individual or community was the main focus. 4. Politics /government: A story about elected or appointed county, state and national government officials. It may also have involved issues pertaining to city, state or national laws or ordinances. 5. Lifestyle : A story containing elements that define different ways of life, including issues dealing with social class, religion, values, attit udes, habits, culture, and dress. 6. E ntertainment : Stories about celebrities, nightlife, dining and general recreational activities (m usic, movies, television, etc.). 7. Education : Stories involving employees and students of schools or school districts; an event on a school campus; an off cam pus event or occurrence where students were the primary focus; including issues relating to school or district policies, curriculum or achievement. 8. Health : Stories containing information related to mental, physical or psycholog ical well being of human bei ngs. 9. Sports : Stories about individuals or teams that compete in, participate in or p ractice athletic endeavors or the sporting event itself. 10. Religion: Stories relating to the study, practice or discussion of organized or personal religious convictions of any and all denominations or a member or members of the religious community 11. Other: does not fit easily into any news topic identified for this study. 7 News values: (adapted from Schaudt & Carpenter, 2009) Code the entire story for the presence or absence of each news value. 1. Conflict A conflict represents any disagreement between two or more groups or individuals. For example, a story depicting conflict may lead with the ng recreational parks, but many neighborhood citizens are voicing their concern
137 2. Human Interest Stories may be coded as having a human interest element if they are either focused on non prominent people or include anecdotes or quotes de scribing how an event has affected a non official person (see Source Affiliation section below). Human interest stories typically involve average people doing interesting or extraordinary things and may involve elements of tragedy and/or inspiration. 3. Oddity News events classified as oddities typically involve elements considered by most people to be out of the ordinary. For example, a story about a robbery may not be considered odd and may not even be considered news by an organization, but a story a bout a robber dressed as a clown may be considered an oddity. 4. Prominence This may include government officials, celebrities, and professional or college athletes, as well as groups to which they belong. Prominent government officials are typically those involved in making policy decisions for the local, state, or federal government. This may also include those in charge of government organizations, such as university presidents, law enforcement chiefs, school board members, and those in charge of other g overnment run departments. musicians and individuals acting in or producing movies, television shows, and theater will be classified as celebrities. Athletes who are well known at all levels may be considered prominent. 5. Proximity This may include event s that occurred within the proclaimed coverage area of a news organization or stories describing the local impact of a national or international occurrence. For example, a story about a car crash ealth care bill that focuses on its impact on local citizens or industry could be considered proximate. 6. Timeliness This may refer to either breaking news or a time peg. Stories containing a time peg are timed to run in conjunction with another event. For example, a news organization may run a story about police officers increasing their efforts to arrest drunk drivers immediately before or on the day of a breaking news story may als o be marked as timely if the news item is something that needs to be communicated to audiences immediately, such as a story about the evacuation of a building due to a gas leak. 7. Helpfulness and gen erally features either perspectives on a product, event, or idea, or a how to approach to accomplishing something. This may include features on many topics related to everyday living, including health, education, business, and philanthropy. Stories may ran ge from how to raise children to coping with depression to how to lose weight.
138 8. Magnitude Magnitude can be measured based on the language used in the may be coded to include magnitude. 8 Sources: (adapted Mason, 2007 ) Indicate one selection for each source to whom or to which quoted or paraphrased information is attributed in an article. Consider whom or what organization the sou rce is speaking for to determine source affiliation. For example, a movie goer, who happens to s area of expertise. Documents, such as police and medical reports, from which information is obtained but no individual is named should be evaluated based on the agency from which they originated. For example, a litary/law enforcement 1. Government a politician, legislator, or anyone speaking on behalf of a government run organization at the local, state, national, or international level (excluding police, military, judiciary, expert, and academic sources ). 2. Military/ law enforcement anyone affiliated with a law enforcement agency, including local and state police, CIA and FBI agents, and code enforcement officers, or any branch of the military, U.S. or otherwise. 3. Business someone speaking on behalf o f a public or private business, including public relations spokespeople, CEOs, and any other representatives of a business. 4. Person on the street /participant any source speaking for him or herself when giving an opinion or reaction to a news event or iss ue or participant in an event. For example, in a story about a bank closing, any persons who use the bank that are interviewed for the story would fit into this category. Participants in activities, such as those in a jousting match at a Renaissance festiv al would also be included here. 5. Expert/academic any source who is interviewed because of his or her expert knowledge on the topic of the story, including university professors, scientists, and those working in the medical field. 6. Entertainer a person in the entertainment industry, including musicians, actors, artists, and dancers. This may also include behind the scenes people in the entertainment industry, including writers, directors, and agents.
139 7. Union/ advocacy group includes anyone speaking on behalf of a union, (government or non government run) that unite on behalf of a common cause, such as members of the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Rifle Association, or gay and lesbian rights groups. 8. Victim/defendant/witness the victim of a crime or accident (including any natural disaster), anyone who is called upon to give an account of a crime or accident they witnessed, or the accused perpetrator of a crime or vio lence. 9. Relative/friend any relative or friend interviewed for a story about a particular person or people. For example, the brother of a crash victim or the college roommate of an award honoree. 10. Judiciary/legal sources related to a criminal or civi l court case, including attorneys, judges, and jury members (excluding victims, defendants, and witnesses). 11. Non government organization/community organization includes members of service, recreational, political, religious, or lifestyle groups. For exa mple, members of a running club, or volunteers for a local Democratic party organization, or Bible study groups. 12. Protester any person who is not connected with an advocacy group, union, or other organization attending a protest or participating in any organized written or verbal form of protest. For example, a gay man who is not affiliated with any organization attending a protest for gay rights, or individual citizens of a country protesting the ruling government. 13. Athlete any participant in any org anized sporting event or leader of a sporting event/fitness activity, such as coaches and fitness instructors. This does not include participants in recreational or fitness activities. 14. Other any source that does not fit into one of the above categories 9 Breaking news: Any item about an unplanned or unexpected occurrence or event should be marked as Items that are unexpected may often include stories about crime, crashes, weather incidents, and political announcements or impromptu press conferences. Expected items, such as coverage of a planned speech or event, trend stories, and 0. Absent 1. Present
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165 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jennifer Brannock Cox was born in M iami Beach, Florida. She received her Bachelor of Science in communication, double majoring in journalism and public relations. Before returning to school to pursue a Doctor of Philosophy in mass communication at the University of Florida, Jennifer worked as a journalist at several Florida publications, including the Orlando Sentinel, Treasure Coast Newspapers, and the Naples Daily News. She earned he r Master of Science in community journalism at the University of Alabama through the Knight Foundation Fellowship program. During that program, Jennifer interned at the Washington Post producing multimedia packages for its online local, web only experiment the Loudoun Extra. Jennifer teaches classes on all levels of journalism and public relations, from introductory writing and reporting to advanced online media production. Her research focuses primarily on the shift from newsprint to online journalism, e xamining the effects of changing business models, interactivity, and social media on the production of news. Jennifer is also interested in studies of newsroom culture and community /citizen journalism. Jennifer is now an Assistant Professor of Communicat ion Arts at Salisbury University where she looks forward to being a productive member of the faculty She and her husband and daughter are enjoying Maryland and its many nearby attracti ons, including the Mid Atlantic wine country and the many historical si tes in Washington D.C. and Philadelphia.