On the Street and/or on Twitter? The use of “every day” sources in economic news coverage by online and offline outlets

Rens Vliegenthart*, Mark Boukes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

By means of a large-scale manual content analysis of Dutch economic news coverage in 2015 (n = 4251 articles), we compare the use of “every day” sources by online and offline outlets. The use of those sources is argued to increase news consumers’ attentiveness to the news item. We investigate whether online outlets use the “ordinary citizen” less frequently, both generally speaking as well as a source, while relying more on social media posts. Our empirical analysis focuses on a comparison between two online quality outlets (nrc.nl and vk.nl), two online popular outlets (nu.nl and telegraaf.nl), two offline quality outlets (NRC Handelsblad and de Volkskrant) and two offline popular outlets (Algemeen Dablad and de Telegraaf). Overall, results suggest a limited use of ordinary citizens as news sources, and even less use of social media. Multivariate logistic regression models, controlling for the length of news items as well as the day of publishing, ‘show that offline outlets use ordinary citizens more often, while online outlets rely more on social media’. Additionally, we find the differences between popular and quality outlets a lot less pronounced, with the latter only making slight more use of social media sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-846
Number of pages18
JournalDigital Journalism
Volume6
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • content analysis
  • economic news
  • online outlets
  • sources

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