Sources in the News: A Comparative Study

Tiffen, Rodney; Jones, Paul K.; Rowe, David; Aalberg, Toril; Coen, Sharon; Curran, James P.; Hayashi, Kaori; Iyengar, Shanto; Mazzoleni, Gianpietro; Papathanassopoulos, Stylianos; Rojas, Hernando and Soroka, Stuart. 2014. Sources in the News: A Comparative Study. Journalism Studies, 15(4), pp. 374-391. ISSN 1461-670X [Article]

No full text available

Abstract or Description

In analysing the news media's role in serving the functions associated with democratic citizenship, the number, diversity and range of news sources are central. Research conducted on sources has overwhelmingly focused on individual national systems. However, studying variations in news source patterns across national environments enhances understanding of the media's role. This article is based on a larger project, “Media System, Political Context and Informed Citizenship: A Comparative Study”, involving 11 countries. It seeks, first, to identify differences between countries in the sources quoted in the news; second, to establish whether there are consistent differences across countries between types of media in their sourcing patterns; and, third, to trace any emergent consistent patterns of variation between different types of organization across different countries. A range of findings related to news media source practices is discussed that highlights variations and patterns across different media and countries, thereby questioning common generalizations about the use of sources by newspapers and public service broadcasters. Finally, a case is made for comparative media research that helps enhance the news media's key role as a social institution dedicated to informed citizenship.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):

Additional Information:

The authors acknowledge the following funding sources: Australian Research Council Discovery Projects ‘‘Media Change Political Change -- Developments in Australian News-
papers’ Political Reporting in the Age of Television’’ [grant number DP0665310] (Tiffen) and ‘‘Political Communication and Media Regulation in Australia’’ [grant number DP0665146] (Jones); Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney (Rowe); Research Council of Norway (Aalberg); United Kingdom Economic and Social Research Council (Curran); Japan Society for the Promotion of Science [grant number 21330114] (Hayashi); National & Kapodistrian University of Athens-Special Account for Research Grants (Papathanassopoulos); Social Science and Humanities Research Council
of Canada (Soroka).


comparative research, content analysis, informed citizenship, news, public service broadcasters (PSBs), sources

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies > Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre


12 September 2013Published Online

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

11 Nov 2014 15:41

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2020 12:15

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


Edit Record Edit Record (login required)