Competitors’ news coverage as a source within economic and symbolic power relations

Jeongsub Lim


News media are positioned within economic and symbolic power relations where a dominant news outlet and a secondary news outlet compete for audience’s attention. In this sense, competitors’ news coverage can be a legitimate source for providing additional news items to journalists, and this study expands this argument to online journalists. An e–mail survey of online journalists reveals that online journalists utilize their competitors’ news coverage as a source for news updates. Online journalists frequently cite competitors’ stories in their stories, and the journalists focus on the context and theme of the competitors’ stories in updating their stories. This strategic response to competitors is not related to online journalists’ personal characteristics, but online journalists working for large news Web sites use their competitors’ news coverage more frequently than ignore it.

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