< Back to previous page


The rise of interpretive journalism

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Subtitle:Belgian newspaper coverage, 1985-2014
Interpretive journalism is a journalistic style, characterized by reporters expressing their opinion, speculating about the future or explaining why something happened, without referring to verifiable facts or statements from news sources. Previous research upon this phenomenon is rather scattered, and inconclusive about the mechanisms underlying the presence of this journalistic style. This study aims to address both shortcomings by investigating newspaper coverage on coalition negotiations in Belgium. Conducting a quantitative, longitudinal content analysis, the evolution of interpretive journalism is studied between 1985 and 2014. Results show a remarkably strong, almost linear increase in the amount of interpretation in newspaper articles over a period of 29 years. Apart from the structural evolution in the media landscape that might cause this trend to occur, contextual determinants differing from one coalition formation to another turn out to be relevant as well. While interpretive journalism is on the rise, this is especially so when considering lengthy, difficult negotiations. This finding emphasizes the importance of contextual determinantsinformation accessibility in this casein explaining journalistic trends.
Journal: Journalism Studies
ISSN: 1461-670X
Volume: 20
Pages: 952 - 971
Publication year:2019