2004
Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1384-6930
  • E-ISSN: 1875-7286

Abstract

Sensationalism in front page photographs: Content analysis of Dutch popular and quality newspapers

Sensationalism in front page photographs: Content analysis of Dutch popular and quality newspapers

Sensation in the news has been a longtime cause for social and scientific debate. Sensational news is thought to substitute ‘serious’ information needed for serious citizen deliberation. A trend towards more sensationalist news has been described for television. This study analyses quality and popular newspaper photographs in terms of sensationalist content and form. Quantitative content analysis of the five major newspapers in the Netherlands shows that a slight majority of newspaper photographs shows sensational content (i.e. dramatic events such as violence, disasters, or crime). A minority of the photographs has sensational format features (e.g., emotions, close-ups, personalization). In eight out of eleven variables, popular newspapers contain more sensational photographs than quality newspapers. However, in some instances differences in sensationalism within the two groups are greater than differences between the groups.

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/content/journals/10.5117/2012.040.001.071
2012-03-01
2022-01-19
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