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The views of the news: The role of political newspapers in a changing media landscape

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Our understanding of newspapers, for obvious reasons, is to a large degree based on the fact that they report on the news. However, there are limits to the informational news paradigm if we are to understand the political and social role of newspapers. Newspapers are also written, published and read because they carry political viewpoints and arguments and, in a wider sense, interpretations of the social and cultural world. As such, individual newspapers and their respective readerships constitute circuits of shared beliefs and opinion formation. According to professional journalistic norms, news and views must be separated, but in actual practice the borderline may not always be clear, and in the minds of some readers it may not even be desirable. Due to a changing media system in Denmark, the newspaper market has become differentiated and two different types of newspapers have emerged: a political press, with mixed commercial and publicist objectives, and a non-political press, with a clear commercial objective. Empirically, the analysis and discussion are based on a quantitative content analysis of Danish national dailies and surveys of newspaper readers.

Keywords: commercialization; journalistic roles; opinion; partisan; political press; publicism

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Publication date: 2010-10-01

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  • Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook was first published in 2002 and places particular emphasis on film, television and new media. The yearbook, although carrying a theme each issue, welcomes a broad range of articles along with shorter review pieces.
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