Over the past few decades, numerous studies have examined the question of whether women and men tend to use different communicative styles, strategies, and practices. In this study, we employed a high-resolution algorithmic approach to examine the role of gender in structuring conflict news discourse, focusing on a comparison between the texts produced by foreign and domestic women and men journalists in their coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Extracting recurrent semantic patterns from over 80,000 texts, we show that women and men journalists tend to interpret journalistic professionalism in slightly different ways: While women emphasize precision and professional distance, men focus more on certitude and providing orientation. Moreover, women journalists tend to give more centrality to various groups of people in their coverage. We discuss these findings in the context of scholarship on gender and language use, journalism, and conflict.
While the centrality of Facebook as a political arena has been widely acknowledged, only scant attention has been given to what makes some political posts more successful than others. Addressing this gap, we analyzed a corpus of political posts written by diverse political actors in Israel. We explored, in particular, two main groups of factors that have been associated with major attributes of Facebook usage: content engagement and self-presentation. The analysis yielded a model of six features that promote the success of a political post: implied emotions, humor, first person, self-exposure, personal stance, and anger-evoking cues. We also identified differences in successful posts written by right-wing and left-wing actors; while humor was found to be a significant predictor of success only in left-wing posts, references to an out-group are associated with success only in right-wing ones. Overall, the findings showed that attributes of self-presentation are strongly linked to the success of political posts.
Although populist communication has become pervasive throughout Europe, many important questions on its political consequences remain unanswered. First, previous research has neglected the differential effects of populist communication on the Left and Right. Second, internationally comparative studies are missing. Finally, previous research mostly studied attitudinal outcomes, neglecting behavioral effects. To address these key issues, this paper draws on a unique, extensive, and comparative experiment in sixteen European countries (N = 15,412) to test the effects of populist communication on political engagement. The findings show that anti-elitist populism has the strongest mobilizing effects, and anti-immigrant messages have the strongest demobilizing effects. Moreover, national conditions such as the level of unemployment and the electoral success of the populist Left and Right condition the impact of populist communication. These findings provide important insights into the persuasiveness of populist messages spread throughout the European continent.
In the scholarly debate, ideals of original reporting are commonly contrasted against the churnalistic reproduction of source content. However, most news making lies between these poles: Journalists rely on but transform the available source material, renegotiating its original meaning. In this article, we define journalistic transformation as those interventions journalists make in their use of third-party textual material in the pursuit of crafting a news story. Journalists (1) select contents from available source texts, (2) position these contents, (3) augment them with further information, and (4) arrange all to craft characteristic news narratives. To investigate journalistic transformation practices, we compare source materials used in the news (e.g. press releases, speeches) to the resulting Israeli, Palestinian, and international coverage of the abduction and murder of four youths in summer 2014. We identify five kinds of journalistic transformation – evaluative, political, cultural, emotive, and professional – each of which actualizes a different journalistic function and contributes to rendering the news relevant to the respective audiences in distinct ways.
In the production of news, the frames presented by selected sources play a critical role. However, to create coherent, authoritative, and relevant news stories from the selected input, journalists need to actively transform the available material and fit it within a journalistic news frame. In our study, we investigate how Israeli, Palestinian, and foreign (US, UK, German) newspapers made use of highly salient source statements in their coverage of the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli and one Palestinian teenager in summer 2014. Performing a qualitative analysis, we identify three characteristic ways in which journalists reposition selected sources’ frames within their coverage: journalists can rely on selected source frames to present specific, subjective viewpoints; they can present multiple source frames as testimonies about newsworthy events; and they can interpret them as communicative actions in sources’ struggle for recognition in the public arena. Each strategy contributes to the construction of a different, broad class of news frames, reflecting different journalistic styles and norms. We discuss implications for the study of news frames and the different roles of political sources within the news.
News coverage of the same events is simultaneously driven by homogenizing and heterogenizing influences. In this paper, we assess whether and when conflict news in different media become more similar or dissimilar by analyzing the coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 13 leading Israeli, Palestinian, and international media over almost 10 years. We distinguish between drivers of enduring similarity, gradual convergence and temporary (dis-)alignments in the news, and relate them to the detected concept association patterns in over 200,000 news texts. We find a slow, context-dependent convergence trend in the news, and temporary alignments and dis-alignments in interpretation in response to major conflict events. Discussing the underlying, interacting influences, the study highlights implications for investigating current transformations in global journalism.
The trends of media personalization and intimization, alongside the growing recognition of the intricate relationship between the private and public spheres, raise complex questions about the ways in which politicians’ private lives are linked to the political realm. This article develops the term politically relevant intimacy, referring to texts in which matters of the public sphere are being tied to the discourse surrounding politicians’ personal lives. We identify two major types of political relevance—issue based and conduct based—and apply this framework to a comparative analysis of mediated manifestations of politicians’ intimate lives in Israel and the United States. Differences in level and type of politically relevant intimacy are found between news coverage and Facebook posts, as well as between the two countries. No significant differences are found between female and male politicians. We discuss implications for future research and for the citizenry in democracies.
This article proposes a nuanced analysis of the temporal spectrum in news narratives, beyond the three conventional temporal orientations (past-present-future), thus affording a more complex understanding of journalism and its varied storytelling patterns. Combining qualitative and quantitative content analysis of print and online news items in the United States and Israel, this framework is used to evaluate and compare different journalistic cultures and media technologies in relation to public time. Based on hierarchical cluster analysis, the article offers a definition for “news” which associates between 5 clusters of temporal layers and different journalistic roles: updating (present and immediate past/future), reporting (recent past), contextualization and ritualistic functions (midrange to distant past), analysis (near future), and projection (far/conjectured future).
This article presents a general framework for deconstructing and classifying conflict news narratives. This framework, based on a nuanced and contextual approach to analyzing media representations of conflict actors and events, addresses some of the weaknesses of existing classification schemes, focusing in particular on the dualistic approach of the peace journalism model. Using quantitative content analysis, the proposed framework is then applied to the journalistic coverage in the Israeli media of three Middle-Eastern conflicts: the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, the conflict surrounding Iran's nuclear program, and the Syrian civil war. The coverage is examined in three leading news outlets – Haaretz, Israel Hayom, and Ynet – over a six-month period. Based on hierarchical cluster analysis, the article identifies four characteristic types of narratives in the examined coverage. These include two journalistic narratives of violence: one inward-looking, ethnocentric narrative, and one outward-looking narrative focusing on outgroup actors and victims; and two political-diplomatic narratives: one interactional, and one outward-looking. In addition to highlighting different constellations of points of view and conflict measures in news stories, the identified clusters also challenge several assumptions underlying existing models, such as the postulated alignment between elite/official actors and violence frames.
Collective memory is a current interpretation of the past that members of a group recognize as commonly shared. The study of collective memory has developed in fields as diverse as sociology, anthropology, social psychology, history, cultural studies, and communication. Collective memory concerns a group's recollections of the past, construed through the perspective of the present, and interpreted to serve present purposes. It emerges from active constructions of the past, typically achieved through the interplay of a wide range of actors. To become manifested as a shared narrative, resulting constructions must be widely disseminated and appropriated by individuals in a group to ensure mutual awareness. As a consequence, collective memory exists in the shared and private imagination of people, and is represented in the texts, practices, and artifacts of a group. The construction, dissemination, appropriation, and discursive mobilization of collective memory play significant roles in political processes.
This article examines the representation of past, present, and future in print and online news, while establishing a link between the temporal orientation of news stories and the constraints of the news cycle. Based on a content analysis of top news stories in the Israeli media, the study shows that a future temporal orientation is more prevalent in print media, which assume the role of projecting upcoming events, analyzing potential outcomes, and shaping collective expectations. In contrast, online news tends to assume the more commonly recognized journalistic role of informing the public on recent-past events. The discussion introduces the notion of “temporal affordances,” referring to the temporal constraints and possibilities of media technologies, which in turn can lead to distinctive content characteristics. These affordances, which connect symbolic and material dimensions, contribute to the shaping and reshaping of the functions served by divergent communication outlets in changing media landscapes.
Audience participation has become a salient component of contemporary digital news environments, challenging traditional boundaries between readers and journalists. In this paper, we present an analytical framework for the evaluation of participation features in news websites, consisting of five axes: Chronology—the stage of news production; Visibility—transparency and prominence; Agency—users' and editors' level of activity; Integration—segregation versus embeddedness of participatory features; and Share-ability—inner, public and social circles of activity. This framework was developed in a cross-cultural study based on a grounded theory approach. We examined participation features in 15 prominent news websites in the United Kingdom, the United States and Israel, and conducted a cross-national and cross-organizational analysis. Other than the use of advanced social plugins, no significant cross-national differences were found in the implementation of participatory features. However, the differences discovered between news organizations require further investigation into the factors shaping the selection and construction of news-based participatory features.
This article examines journalists’ narratives of the constellations of factors that shaped the coverage of the 2011–2012 social protest in Israel, and how journalists used the protest to negotiate their roles, practices, and values against the backdrop of their own professional and economic struggles. Based on in-depth interviews with reporters and editors who were involved in the coverage of the protest movement, this article analyzes journalists’ interpretations and negotiations of the various influences on their work during the two major waves of the protest. An analysis of patterns of collision and concurrence between individual, organizational, and professional domains of influence in journalists’ narratives shows that while the norm of objectivity remains a key site of tension in relation to other factors, considerations of newsworthiness are constructed as complementing and justifying all other types of influence. An examination of diachronic patterns suggests that journalists’ individual conditions and positions play a greater role in journalists’ narratives in the first stage of the protest, giving way to professional values and organizational economic considerations in later stages. Although these findings further complicate the protest paradigm, they also show a dominant pattern of “paradigm repair” at the level of both journalists’ professional ideology and protest coverage.
While memory can be both retrospective and prospective, referring to either what happened or what needs to be done, scholarship on media and collective memory has focused on retrospective memories. Shifting the focus to the news media as agents of prospective memory, this article develops the notion of mediated prospective memory. This new construct, which encompasses the various media practices by which collective prospective-memory tasks are shaped and negotiated, is intended to shed light on one facet of the complex relationships between past, present, and future in news discourse; create a much needed bridge between the theoretical frameworks of agenda setting and collective memory; and provide one possible answer to the question of what is unique about journalism's memory work.
This article examines the journalistic practices associated with the management of visibility of kidnapping and captivity stories, based on a comparative study of the media coverage of seven cases of Colombian, French, Israeli, and US citizens who were taken captive in the first decade of the 21st century. Differences in the general level of visibility given to these stories are identified and explained, followed by an analysis of three patterns of high visibility management across time, termed ‘sustained visibility’, ‘delayed visibility’ and ‘cyclical visibility’. Emerging from the analysis is the complex interplay between hyper-visibility and invisibility in journalistic practices, as well as the notion of “elastic newsworthiness”, according to which news criteria are not only shaping patterns of visibility but are also being shaped by them.