Nuclear voices in the news: A comparison of source, news agency and newspaper content about nuclear energy over time

Jelle W. Boumans*, Rens Vliegenthart, Hajo G. Boomgaarden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While news media are frequently criticized for their alleged increasing reliance on ‘subsidized content’ provided by sources and news agencies, this claim is seldom empirically verified. Based on insights from computer science, this study proposes an approach to quantitatively compare source, news agency and newspaper content over time. Including press releases from two corporate actors and one nongovernmental actor as well as articles of news agencies and newspapers, the approach is applied to the debate about nuclear energy in the Netherlands (2003–2012). Results show no indication of an increased similarity of newspapers’ content with either source content or news agency content, thus providing no justification for the concerns about an increasing dependency of newspapers on subsidized content. Contradicting literature, we found that media content is most similar to the nongovernmental organization’s content, with the exception of one regional newspaper that strongly reflects the local corporation’s content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-282
Number of pages23
JournalEuropean Journal of Communication
Volume31
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Content analysis
  • journalism
  • local/regional media
  • news agencies
  • sources

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