The concept of negativity in political news has not reached the status of a homogenous, overarching theoretical concept. This article proposes conceptual understandings, categorizations and practical operationalizations of negativity in the news that reflect the consensus of existing work paying special attention to recent European research. This work aims to systematize existing concepts and categories in order to increase comparability and cumulativity of empirical evidence. To structure and standardize dimensions of negativity in the news we differentiate firstly between negativity and confrontation, secondly between frame-related negativity and individual actor-related negativity, and thirdly between non-directional and directional dimensions of negativity. This article provides a common set of indicators and matrice-based classifications of negativity (and its antithesis) in the news to measure and categorize its intensity and multi-dimensionality.