ERIC Number: ED217465
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Invisible Power: News Sources and the Limits of Diversity.
Brown, Jane Delano; And Others
A study investigated the nature and extent of diversity in news sources used by newspapers and the extent to which those sources were identified by the newspapers. A content analysis was conducted of 846 front page, straight news stories that appeared during two randomly constructed weeks in two national newspapers (the "New York Times" and the "Washington Post") and four local newspapers published in North Carolina. The stories were categorized as staff written or wire service originated, while sources were coded according to their affiliation with and position in an organization, and by whether they were identified by name and position in the story. The results showed that news stories appearing in both the national and the local newspapers and those written by both staff members and wire services relied heavily on government sources who were primarily men in executive positions. Many of these sources were so veiled that it was not possible to determine very much about them. Most news stories originated through routine channels, such as news conferences and press releases. The findings suggest that commonly held pluralistic beliefs about the role of the press in American society are too simplistic and should be expanded to consider how news agenda are shaped by those in power outside the newsroom. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: News Sources
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (65th, Athens, OH, July 25-28, 1982).