Purchasing Diversity: A Media Ecology Analysis on the Recruitment of Newspaper Op-ed Columnists
This study examines the dynamics of the overlap and shift of opinion-editorial (op-ed) guest columnists in a single news market. While previous studies have explored the diversity of op-ed columnists within an individual newspaper, we have investigated the dynamics through the ecological framework of market competition. The purpose of this article is to see how newspapers recruit op-ed columnists from the social pool, based on their position in the market. To explore this aspect efficiently, we have chosen the largely self-enclosed newspaper market of South Korea and analyzed longitudinal data on 7 national newspapers in that region. We expected that the market positions and political ideologies would delineate the movement and diversity of columnists. We found that the market leaders of the newspaper industry tended to achieve a diversity of op-ed columnists by actively recruiting them from other newspapers. However, the alignment of political ideology was still crucial in the recruitment.
op-ed, guest columnist, newspaper ecology, diversity