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The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.707
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.151

CiteScore 2018: 0.86

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.460
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.580

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Volume 41, Issue 4


Different actors, different factors? A comparison of the news factor orientation between newspaper journalists and civil-society actors

Hannah Schmid-Petri / Thomas Häussler / Silke Adam
Published Online: 2016-11-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2016-0023


News factors can be conceptualized as general relevance indicators guiding the attention of all humans. However, that doesn’t mean that they are the only factors influencing selection processes or that all news factors have the same importance across different actor types. Within the concept of news factors it is still unclear to what degree those news factors also apply to the communication outside of traditional mass media. We therefore ask whether and how actors with varying degrees of professionalization employ news factors in their communication differently. To answer our research question, we conducted a quantitative content analysis and compared the coverage in traditional newspapers with the communication of civil society actors with varying degrees of professionalization. We analyzed the relevance of news factors within the presentation of a specific issue, namely climate change in Germany. Our results show that news factors are – at least partly – also applied by non-journalist actors. The mass media and the more professionalized civil society actors do not apply news factors more strongly to their communication than do non-professionalized civil society actors. Instead, we find that different actors focus on different news factors.

Keywords: news factors; news values; news selection; civil society; climate change

About the article

Published Online: 2016-11-24

Published in Print: 2016-11-23

Citation Information: Communications, Volume 41, Issue 4, Pages 399–419, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2016-0023.

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©2016 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin Boston.Get Permission

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