What Is News? What Is the Newspaper? The Physical, Functional, and Stylistic Transformation of Print Newspapers, 1988–2013

Miki Tanikawa


Content analyses of large and internationally influential American newspapers show that today only 35% of the front-page articles are traditional, event-centered news articles, down from 69% 25 years ago. Of the event-centered news, only 47% mentioned the main development in the first paragraph. This study argues that newspapers have transformed in functions and style such that they no longer deliver first-instance news reporting, but serve as an analytical and/or in-depth complement to the more immediate, instantaneous online news outlets. Broader implications of the findings including theoretical connections to comparative media systems, medium theory, and professional role conceptions of journalists are discussed.


straight news, features, 5W1H lead, inverted pyramid structure

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