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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton April 2, 2017

Actor diversity and viewpoint diversity: Two of a kind?

  • Andrea Masini EMAIL logo and Peter Van Aelst
From the journal Communications


News content diversity is generally considered to be an essential precondition for the promotion of social pluralism. However, how diversity of news content should be conceptualized and measured is less clear. We use a content analysis of newspaper articles about immigration (2013−14) in Belgium (Flanders) to measure the diversity of actors and viewpoints in the news, and to study the link between those two subdimensions of content diversity. We find that the representation of a plurality of active actors in a news article seems to go hand in hand with a more diverse range of viewpoints. The findings show that there are no significant differences in the level of actor and viewpoint diversity between quality and popular newspapers. However, the length of the article has a positive effect on providing more diversity. Moreover, our results indicate that allowing for individual immigrants to talk in the reporting is fundamental to promoting a more positive representation of immigration in the news.

Published Online: 2017-4-2
Published in Print: 2017-4-1

©2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin Boston

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