Assessing the Co-Occurrence of Professional Roles in the News: A Comparative Study in Six Advanced Democracies

María Luisa Humanes, Claudia Mellado, Cornelia Mothes, Henry Silke, Patric Raemy, Nikos Panagiotou


Based on a content analysis of 22 newspapers from the United States, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and Greece (N = 10,512), this study addresses the overlapping nature of professional role performance in the news. The authors analyze the interaction and co-occurrence of the interventionist, watchdog, loyal-facilitator, service, civic, and infotainment roles. The results show three main types of role co-occurrence—interventionist-watchdog, watchdog-civic, and interventionist-infotainment—from which intermediate roles emerge. The findings also shed light on the influence of organizational structures, journalistic routines, and local contexts on the interaction of different roles in professional practice.


Role performance, professional roles, journalistic cultures, news, media practices, newspapers, intermediate roles

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