The study analysed news coverage in eight newspapers (four in each country), representing: up-market subscription papers; regional subscription papers; free commuter papers; and tabloid newspapers.

The quality of news was content-analysed by looking at four different quality indicators: the amount of hard news (vs. soft news); relevant focus on macro-level structures instead of individuals (i.e. no personalisation); contextualisation (thematic instead of episodic framing); and factual-normative instead of moralistic-emotional tone of reporting.

Quality was found to vary depending on both press type (subscription papers vs. free commuter papers and tabloids) and resources (outlets that had made more staff redundant were found of lower quality). However, an additional factor was identified in the paper's own mission and priorities: the study found that newspapers that aspired to publish excellent, ethical reporting were judged as higher quality than newspapers that prioritised earning higher profits or expanding audiences.

Tags: Ethics_of_journalism Sweden Switzerland
Publication Date: July 2017
Research and Editorial Team: Linards Udris, Viktor Vogt, Stefano De Rosa