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When news reporters connect people in a news story they essentially construct social networks in the news media. Networks through which news sources can be aligned symbolically in written, audible or visual form. This particular type of network is first defined and described with reference to the ways in which the concept of networks has previously been used by researchers and news reporters. Following this conceptualization the vision of networks in the news media and the adjacent vocabulary are then operationalized and used as a backdrop for an analysis of Danish newspapers from 1905 to 2005. This is an approach that can help delineate—and graphically visualize—how networks in the news media have evolved over the past century, and the content analysis shows that the socio-symbolic networks not only augment communicative actors and structures from parliament and other pre-existing platforms for communication, but also complement or even substitute them. The development offers people both inside and outside news rooms new potentials—and problems—when it comes to affecting the lives of people connected directly or indirectly to the networks.
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Keywords: journalism history; media lobbyism; network theory; sourcing practices

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2010

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