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Is Facebook driving tabloidization? A cross-channel comparison of two German newspapers


Magin, Melanie; Steiner, Miriam; Häuptli, Andrea; Stark, Birgit; Udris, Linards (2021). Is Facebook driving tabloidization? A cross-channel comparison of two German newspapers. In: Conboy, Martin; Eldridge II, Scott A. Global tabloid : culture and technology. London: Routledge, 56-74.

Abstract

In highly commercialized media markets, newspapers must be present on social media whose logic favours user engagement, shareworthiness, and virality. This might foster increasingly tabloid-like reporting, but empirical studies on the actual effects on newspaper content are widely lacking. We investigate how far newspaper type (quality paper vs. tabloid) and distribution channel (print version, website, Facebook page) influences the degree of tabloidization of two newspapers’ political news. In a content analysis of political news articles of FAZ and BILD in their print versions, on their websites, and on their Facebook pages (n=2,441), we measure tabloidization on three dimensions (topic, focus, style). FAZ is most tabloid-like on Facebook, but with only small differences to its print version and website. BILD is already relatively tabloid-like offline and continues, but not further strengthens, this strategy online. We argue for a modified measurement of tabloidization that considers the characteristics of social media.

Abstract

In highly commercialized media markets, newspapers must be present on social media whose logic favours user engagement, shareworthiness, and virality. This might foster increasingly tabloid-like reporting, but empirical studies on the actual effects on newspaper content are widely lacking. We investigate how far newspaper type (quality paper vs. tabloid) and distribution channel (print version, website, Facebook page) influences the degree of tabloidization of two newspapers’ political news. In a content analysis of political news articles of FAZ and BILD in their print versions, on their websites, and on their Facebook pages (n=2,441), we measure tabloidization on three dimensions (topic, focus, style). FAZ is most tabloid-like on Facebook, but with only small differences to its print version and website. BILD is already relatively tabloid-like offline and continues, but not further strengthens, this strategy online. We argue for a modified measurement of tabloidization that considers the characteristics of social media.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute for Research on the Public Sphere and Society
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > General Social Sciences
Language:English
Date:18 April 2021
Deposited On:20 May 2021 08:46
Last Modified:21 May 2021 20:00
Publisher:Routledge
ISBN:9780367336264
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429320880-4
Related URLs:https://www.routledge.com/Global-Tabloid-Culture-and-Technology/Conboy-II/p/book/9780367336264 (Publisher)

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