Daily Newspaper Reporters' Views Of Journalistic Roles:
An Integrated Perspective
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242
This paper explores the three common journalistic roles -- interpretive,
dissemination, and adversarial -- within their broader social
A survey of daily newspaper reporters from 14 newspapers in one Midwestern
state found that basic journalistic role beliefs were indeed mediated by
other social forces, especially with younger, less experienced
smaller newspapers. Role differences were also less than than those in
studies across a broader range of media and organizational sizes.
Paper submitted to the Newspaper Division of the Association for Education
in Journalism and Mass Communication for the August 1995 annual
Daily Newspaper Reporters' Perceptions of Roles _
Daily Newspaper Reporters' Views Of Journalistic Roles:
An Integrated Perspective
The relationship between reporters and the people they interview for
information -- news sources -- is often viewed as a major factor shaping
the news. Some studies portray journalists as society's watchdogs
government and big business, while others argue that journalists are
of the powerful. Yet other studies depict the journalist-source
relationship as give-and-take, where each party is engaged in an exchange
of influence and information.
The way reporters view their social role has a lot to do with how they
interact with news sources. For example, a reporter subscribing to
watchdog press values would often take an "adversarial role" with news
sources (Weaver & Wilhoit, 1986). In contrast, a reporter who believed
more of an "information dissemination role" would act more as a
the information provided by news sources.
However, by studying journalist-source relationships only in terms of the
adversarial, interpretive/investigative, and information dissemination
roles a study misses the greater context of a reporter's social
environment. Further, these roles have emerged from studies that have
surveyed an amalgam of journalists: broadcast and print media, reporters
and editors, elite media organizations and ordinary ones. The
of findings from these data to the bulk of U.S. newspapers is unclear.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the three common journalistic
roles within their broader social environment. In addition, it focuses
solely on reporters working at community daily newspapers. The paper
integrates these reporters' views of basic journalistic roles with their
views of four additional social forces: peer expectations,
demands, community pressures, and the news sources themselves. Data
this study come from a survey of reporters working at 14 daily
in one midwestern state. Cluster analysis is used to identify a
of journalists' role beliefs within their larger social context, and
paint a portrait of the background characteristics of reporters who
subscribe to those beliefs.
Within the field of mass communication, the work of journalists has
frequently been framed within their social position as "The Fourth
Beliefs accompanying this framing include values such as fairness,
objectivity, and a position as watchdog over government and business. As
result, studies of journalists role perceptions frequently center on these
values. Role perceptions can be defined as the expected types of behavior
people think they are supposed to exhibit in their social setting (Drew,
The earlier studies of journalists' role perceptions suggested that the
journalistic role could be divided into either a "neutral" or
type (Drechsel, 1983). The neutral role has been defined as the
neutral-reporter type who puts the burden of creating news and news
judgment on others. The participant role is more independent in their news
judgment and will use social concerns in considering newsworthiness. This
dichotomy was challenged by findings that three role types are more likely
and that journalists often enact more than one role, depending on their
situation. These three roles include the interpretive, dissemination,
adversarial (Weaver & Wilhoit, 1986). The interpretative role is
to the earlier participant role while the disseminator role values
news quickly to the widest possible audience. The adversarial role is
defined as an "adversarial mindset" or watchdog approach.
These three roles tend to appear in particular contexts. In general,
print journalists tend to favor the interpretive role more than do
broadcast journalists. Reporters generally favor either the interpretive
or adversarial, while editors lean toward disseminator roles.
with greater experience and working at prestigious media organizations
also more likely to adopt the interpretive or adversarial roles. The
dissemination role is more common among broadcasters and editors.
Clearly, journalistic roles appear to be context related, and many of the
conditions that lead to role variation are outside the realm of daily
newspapers. It is therefore likely that this body of literature does not
accurately describe the role perceptions of reporters working for
kinds of newspapers. It is also likely that daily newspaper reporters
not diverge as widely in their role perceptions as do the broader
journalists appearing in large-scale survey research.
Studies of newswork suggest that this mismatch of the journalistic role
perception literature to an understanding of daily newspaper reports
even deeper. Although early research such as White's (1950) classic
gatekeeping study emphasized the individuality of journalists, much of the
research that has followed has recognized that cooperative behavior is
common and productive for journalists (Dunwoody, 1978). Journalists thus
base their actions in part on how their colleagues do their work, and
what seem to be socially acceptable boundaries for reporting and
interacting with news sources (Bantz, 1985; Berkowitz, 1992a; Tunstall,
1971). A shared sense of news judgment and values, combined with the
competitive nature of newswork, can be interpreted as a form of
socialization by journalists seeking increased status for their roles
The organizational constraints and demands faced by journalists also bring
demands which temper core journalistic values. Although many journalists
do not feel influenced by their organization, some journalists
that institutional evolution, the altering of norms, and changing
affect the writing of news (Darnton, 1990). Research on organizations
found that publishers' policy on particular subjects is usually
the journalists they employ (Breed, 1955). In situations where these are
brought into question, journalists use the ritual of objectivity as a
strategy to organize unexpected events and decrease variability
1992b; Tuchman, 1973). Because of this, some researchers have come to
view the newsroom as a type of factory and concluded that financial
pressures on news organizations lead to work routines that rarely allow the
time or personnel necessary for interpretive or adversarial roles (Bantz,
McCorkle & Baade, 1980; McManus, 1994).
The recognition of financial constraints and economics has led some to
consider that journalistic education, hiring practices, and social
conformity contribute to journalists general support of mercantile
interests (Altschull, 1995; Molotch and Lester, 1981). Thus whether
resulting from organizational or economic concerns, the effect of news
organizations can be considered relatively strong (Tichenor, Olien,
& Hindman, 1993).
Journalists' role perceptions are further shaped by their interactive role
within the community they cover. Although some studies argue that
journalists adjust their role just to live within a community (Sohn, 1984),
others see the journalist's role affected by the larger relationship
between the media organization, large scale structural characteristics of
the audience community and long term social change (McLeod, Sandstrom,
Olien, Donohue & Tichenor, 1990). For example, media market size has
linked to differences in media content (Carroll, 1989). Journalists
tend to reify a community's social power structure and to base their
reporting activities on what they come to see as a natural social order
(Galtung & Ruge, 1981; Gitlin, 1980; Soloski, 1989; Tuchman, 1978).
power dynamic does extend both ways however.
Basic journalistic information dissemination has been found to overcome
structural relationships in communities. Community leaders frequently
believe in the agenda setting ability of the media, and try to avoid
conflict in media coverage (Donohue, Olien & Tichenor, 1989; Kanervo and
Kanervo, 1989). A community's degree of pluralism (or degree of power
centrality) is related to journalists' abilities to report on views
outside of the dominant ones (Coleman, 1994; Donohue et. al., 1989). In
more homogeneous communities, reporters are sharply constrained from
on an adversarial role that would threaten the status quo.
Yet another factor tempering variability of journalistic roles is the
necessity of maintaining a relationship with news sources. Forces
the media organization make newswork a strategic practice that leads
journalists into a reliance on predictable, routine sources (Berkowitz &
Adams, 1990; Brown, Bybee, Weardon & Straughan, 1987; Drechsel, 1983;
Sigal, 1986). The status of a journalist relative to that of a news
also limits journalistic role possibilities (Dyer & Neyman, 1977; Reese,
This power imbalance is quite likely for reporters at community newspapers
because of the differences between reporters and their news sources. In
general, the age distribution of reporters is skewed, so that most are
under 40 years of age and few are much older (Weaver & Wilhoit, 1986).
Reporters also tend to relatively mobile in their careers, especially
they are younger. At the same time, news sources tend to be public
officials who have spent most of their lives in a community and have
reached their positions only after a significant number of years.
A typical encounter between a reporter from a daily newspaper and a local
official or business leader would thus involve a person who is a
outsider to the community (yet who is bound by his or her newspaper's
community interests) interviewing a news source who is steeped in the
community power structure. Clearly, other than a disseminator role would
be difficult in this situation (Chibnall, 1981). Further compounding
imbalance, reporters have long favored news sources with higher levels
prestige and visibility (Gans, 1979).
To summarize the discussion thus far, research on journalistic role
perceptions tends to oversimplify the way this concept is implemented.
Most of this research draws from data covering a very broad spectrum of
employment in journalism, so that the fit of the three-role typology in
unclear for any specific context. This is an especially important
for the study of reporters at daily newspapers and they way that they
conduct relationships with their news sources. Three hypotheses follow:
H1: The range of role perceptions for daily newspaper reporters will be
narrower than the range of role perceptions in the overall population
H2: The social context of daily newspaper reporters' work will play an
important part in their overall role conceptions.
H3: A reporter's social status in the newsroom and in the community will be
linked to differences in role perceptions.
Data collection for this study began by identifying concepts related to
the five social forces under study: journalistic roles, peer
organizational demands, community pressures, and the news sources
themselves. A four-page questionnaire was designed in which respondents
evaluated statements concerning their views on these social forces.
statement was rated on an 11-point scale that ranged from "Disagree
strongly" to "Agree strongly." The questionnaire contained 22 statements
and 8 items about a respondent's reporting background. Only the 15
most related to this study's concepts were used for the analysis.
The study was designed with cluster analysis in mind. The basic approach
of cluster analysis is to look for patterns of response across a set
items. This technique often performs better at exploring issue
orientations than traditional methods (such as crosstabulation or multiple
regression), because it allows basic orientations to naturally emerge
the data rather than from the process of breaking respondents into
according to demographic variables (cite my work roles article).
cluster analysis is used to suggest a typology of perceptions rather
describing proportions of perceptions in a population, a large sample
was not necessary. Sampling began by identifying the state's daily
newspapers (37 in all) and building a list of community populations and
circulation sizes. One paper's circulation was approximately 200,000,
although the other papers ranged from about 70,000 to about 2,000.
Communities ranged from about 180,000 people down to about 5,000. Overall,
this information suggested three main groupings of newspapers: more than
40,000; 10,000 to 40,000; and less than 10,000 in daily circulation.
Four newspapers were chosen from each of the two larger newspaper size
groups (from among 5 largest papers and from among 11 medium papers),
six were selected from among the 21 smallest papers. Names of reporters
were then obtained from story by-lines and from phone calls to the
newspapers. A total of 60 reporters were selected for the survey.
Although this sampling scheme was not purely random in its selection of
newspapers or reporters, there was no intentional slant to the
process and the sample would likely be similar to other samples of the
state's reporters. Further, the reporters sampled here are likely to
represent typical working reporters rather than reporters working at
national or regional newspapers.
The mail survey followed the recommendations of Dillman (1978) and Erdos
(1983) and included personalized materials and follow-up mailings.
one usable questionnaires were obtained, for a response rate of 85
Results and Discussion
Data analysis began by selecting survey questionnaire items that best
represented the goals of this study. In all, 15 measures were chosen to
used in the cluster analysis (full item wording appears in the Appendix).
Cluster analysis is a technique that can be used to compare people's
responses over a set of items in order to detect overarching patterns of
response among those respondents (see Aldenderfer & Blashfield, 1984
more on this technique). It is much like using factor analysis to
groups of cases rather than variables, except that cluster analysis
creates groups by bringing cases together while factor analysis works to
break a sample apart.
Through examination of the cluster dendrogram and joining distances, a
three cluster solution was chosen. Item means were then calculated for
each of the three clusters, along with the range of means across
for each item. The table is sorted according from largest to smallest
differences in item means. The largest item means (at least an
of +/-2 on a 5-point scale) for each group are highlighted in bold
This information is presented in Table 1.
Table 1 about here
Table 1 shows that the three clusters were most sharply defined by the
contextual areas, rather than by journalistic role beliefs. Beliefs
journalistic roles were relatively similar across all three clusters,
particularly concerning fairness and objectivity (item 19). None of the
three clusters held particularly strong views about the adversarial
(items 11 and 16). In sum, with other social forces considered in the
analysis, differences in journalistic role conception appeared
small across the three clusters.
These findings support hypotheses 1 and 2.
Table 1 also shows that the largest difference between clusters involved
how power imbalances mediate the exchange between reporters and news
sources (item 7). For this item, cluster 1 people acknowledged taking
advantage of less powerful sources, while cluster 3 people felt just as
strongly that they responded to news sources equally. Reporters'
for this item were reinforced by weaker but similar response patterns
items concerning sources' organizational prestige (item 20) and which
party--journalists or news sources--tends to have the upper hand (item
In sum, cluster 1 reporters were more responsive to power differences
between journalists and news sources, while cluster 3 reporters felt
dealt with news sources in an even-handed manner. Although cluster 2
reporters expressed neutral (or possibly mixed) views for item 7, they
even more strongly than cluster three about the other two items in this
A productive analysis strategy at this point is to examine the dimensions
of response patterns that distinguish
the three opinion clusters. It is first important to note that although
cluster 1 reporters' views were not particularly intense for most
these people had positive means for all but one item. This suggests
cluster 1 reporters generally felt that their interaction with
was shaped by their social world. In other words, although cluster 1
reporters were concerned about fairness and objectivity, their
responsiveness to social forces likely would mediate how they
with news sources. In particular, these reporters appear more
about the social forces that would impact their jobs most directly,
including the views of their colleagues and the management of their
Cluster 2 and cluster 3 reporters stand in clear contrast to those in
cluster 1. Although not all views were particularly strong, cluster 2
reporters disagreed with 9 items and cluster 3 disagreed with 10. This
suggests that these two clusters of reporters felt more independent of
their social context. More specifically, besides their concerns about
fairness and objectivity, the strongest item opinions for cluster 2
concerned lack of influence by their community (items 17, 20, and 14).
Cluster 2 also held the strongest beliefs of the three clusters about
watchdog role. Combining these ideas suggests that cluster 2 reporters
saw themselves as community guardians, although they are from adopting
adversarial relationship with their news sources.
Cluster 3 reporters stand out as the group with the strongest opinions.
Besides general beliefs about fairness and objectivity, these
the least likely to subscribe to an adversarial role. Further, a clear
pattern emerges showing these reporters holding beliefs of
from influence by their coworkers (items 15, 21, and 2). To a lesser
extent, these reporters also hold beliefs about their independence from
their organization and from news sources. Their views come closest to
of the neutral disseminator.
To summarize the findings so far:
- Common among all three clusters of reporters are concerns about
objectivity and fairness. Beliefs in an adversarial or watchdog role do
not provide clear distinctions between clusters.
- Cluster 1 reporters generally see their interaction with news sources as
shaped by their social worlds.
- Cluster 2 reporters are particularly concerned about maintaining
independence from community influences and also prescribe to the
role to some extent.
- Cluster 3 people appear concerned about remaining neutral from social
forces in their news source interactions. This is especially true
avoiding influence from their colleagues.
Table 2 about here
The next step in this analysis looks for connections between the three
cluster orientations and their backgrounds, which helps address
3. This information appears in Table 2. To facilitate detection of
patterns in background characteristics, background information has been
summarized into a single table. An initial examination of cluster
found little clear differences between clusters. To explore the
possibility that differences in means were masked through skewed
distributions of responses, Tukey stem-and-leaf diagrams were prepared for
each of the interval level variables (experience, time with newspaper,
years in the area, staff size). These diagrams can be interpreted much
like a histogram. In each case, a skewed distribution was found, with
values centered toward the lower end. For example, there were very few
journalists older than 40 years, yet four were at least 60 years old.
These findings suggested that an examination of means across clusters
be somewhat misleading for these measures.
To facilitate a more meaningful analysis, medians were computed for each
background variable. Reporters were then split into two groups
to the variable median, with median values assigned to a group after
inspection of a variable's overall distribution. The news staff size
variable was not split by the median value, however. Instead, a natural
break occurred where a paper's news staff was either 8 or fewer, or
than 15. This break therefore was used, because it seemed more
within the variable's context.
Two points from the previous discussion are important to restate for
interpreting background information: first, cluster 1 reporters were most
sensitive to their social worlds, and second, some degree of
appeared in the views of clusters 2 and 3. A clear relationship stands
that helps explain these differences in orientations toward the
journalist-source relationship: cluster 1 reporters, those most concerned
about their social environment, are the least experienced, youngest,
lived in their community the for the shortest time, and are most
be working in a small community. In other words, those reporters
have the least prestige and power are the ones whose journalistic role
perceptions are most sharply mediated by their social environment.
Cluster 2 reporters, those closest to a community watchdog role, tended to
be more experienced, have spent more time with their newspaper, are older,
and work at a larger newspaper. These reporters are also less likely to
be working in a small community.
Cluster 3 reporters, those most concerned about remaining uninfluenced by
their social environment--and coworkers in particular--had background
profiles between clusters 1 and 3, but not greatly different from cluster
Thus, the third hypothesis, that a reporter's social status in the
newsroom and in the community will be linked to differences in role
perceptions, was also supported.
This study explored the premise that journalistic role beliefs go beyond
views about "journalistic mission" to encompass other elements of a
reporter's social environment. It also argued that the research on
journalistic role perceptions based on broad-ranging samples of journalists
does not provide a close match for the way that role perceptions toward
news sources develop for daily newspaper reporters. Through the
of newswork, the data from this study considered influences from
coworkers, the news organization, the community, and news source
relationships. Data analysis found that basic journalistic beliefs were
indeed mediated by these other social forces. All three hypotheses
Two key points stood out most clearly. A first point is that differences
in journalistic role perceptions were relatively small, with no strong
adversarial role present. This lack of a real adversarial role is
the result of social pressures from the local community and the news
organization. Most reporters at daily newspapers have regular contact
their news sources, both on and off the job. Further, their news
organizations make clear the links between organizational survival and
maintaining amiable relationships with those people vested in the
power structure. This situation is much different from that of reporters
working at national or regional media in major cities.
A second key point concerns differences between reporters of different
ages/experience levels/community sizes. Here, younger, less
reporters working in smaller communities tended to be the least bound
core journalistic beliefs and were also most concerned about their
environment. These reporters also had less social status, both in
newsroom and in their relationships with news sources. In contrast,
more experienced journalists tended to feel less constrained by social
forces, and are more likely to fulfill their journalistic roles, which
tended toward the disseminator.
Future studies need to examine how these role beliefs correspond to
journalists' actual behaviors with news sources. That kind of research is
better done through field observation and interviews with reporters.
Further exploration of role perceptions in specific media should be
undertaken, as well as exploring the correspondence between the role
perceptions of reporters and editors in similar media organization
contexts. Finally, larger scale data gathering can build on the findings
here to provide more generalizable descriptive results.
In sum, the findings of this study urge a broader conception of
journalistic role perceptions, one that goes beyond professional ideals and
also incorporates social realities.
Aldenderfer, M. S., & Blashfield, R. K. (1984). Cluster analysis. Newbury
Park, CA: Sage.
Altschull, J. H. (1995). Agents of power. New York: Longman.
Bantz, C. R. (1985). News organizations: Conflict as a crafted cultural
norm. Communication, 8, 225-244.
Bantz, C. R., McCorkle, S., & Baade, R. C. (1980). The news factory.
Communication Research, 8, 45-68.
Berkowitz, D. (1992a). Who sets the media agenda? The ability of
Policymakers to determine news decisions. In J. D. Kennamer (Ed.),
opinion, public policy, and the press (pp. 81-102). New York:
Berkowitz, D. (1992b). Non-routine news and newswork: Exploring a
what-a-story. Journal of Communication, 42, 82-94.
Berkowitz, D., & Adams, D. B. (1990). Information subsidy and
agenda-building in local television news. Journalism Quarterly, 67,
Breed, W. (1955). Social control in the news room: A functional analysis.
Social Forces, 33, 326-355.
Brown, J. D., Bybee, C. R., Weardon, S. T., & Straughan, D. M. (1987).
Invisable power: Newspaper news sources and the limits of
Journalism Quarterly, 67, 672-683.
Carroll, R. L. (1989). Market size and TV news values. Journalism
Quarterly, 66, 49-56.
Chibnall, S. (1981). The production of knowledge by crime reporters. In S.
Cohen & J. Young (Eds.), The manufacture of news: Social
and the mass media (pp. 75-97). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Coleman, C. (1994, August). An examination of the relationship of
structural pluralism, news role and source use with framing in the
of a community controversy. Paper presented at the annual meeting of
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication,
Darnton, R. (1990). Ch. 5: Journalism: All the news that fits we print.
From The kiss of Lamourette: Reflections in cultural history
New York: Norton.
Dillman, D. A. (1978). Mail and telephone surveys: The total design method.
New York: John Wiley.
Donohue, G. A., Olien, C. N., & Tichenor, P. J. (1989). Structure and
constraints on community newspaper gatekeepers. Journalism
Drechsel, R. (1983). News making in the trial courts. New York: Longman.
Drew, D. G. (1972). Roles and decision making of three television beat
reporters. Journal of Broadcasting, 16, 165-173.
Dunwoody, S. (1978). Science writers at work. Research Report No. 7.
Bloomington: Center for New Communications, Indiana University.
Dyer, C. S., & Nayman, O. B. (1977). Under the capitol dome: relationships
between legislators and reporters. Journalism Quarterly, 54, 443-453.
Erdos, P. (1983). Professional Mail Surveys. Malabar, FL: Robert E.
Erlich, M. C. (1992). Competition in local TV news: Ritual, enactment, and
ideology. Mass Com Review, 1, 21-26.
Galtung, J., & Ruge, M. (1981). Structuring and selecting news. In S.
Cohen & J. Young (Eds.), The manufacture of news: Social problems,
and the mass media. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Gans, H. J. (1979). Deciding what's news: A study of CBS Evening News, NBC
Nightly News, Newsweek and Time. New York: Pantheon Books.
Gitlin T. (1980). The whole world is watching: Mass media in the making and
unmaking of the new left. Berkeley, CA: Sage.
Kanervo, E. W., & Kanervo, D. W. (1989). How town administrator's view
relates to agenda building in community press. Journalism
McManus, J. H. (1994). Market-driven journalism: Let the citizen beware?
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
McLeod, D. M., Sandstrom, K. L., Olien, C. N., Donohue, G. A., & Tichenor,
P. J. (1990, August). The impact of community structure and
on editorial judgments. Paper presented at the meeting of the Association
for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Minneapolis, MN.
Molotch, H., & Lester, M. (1981). News as purposive behavior: On the
strategic use of routine events, accidents, and scandals. In S. Cohen
Young (Eds.), The manufacture of news. Deviance, social problems & the
media (pp. 118-137). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Reese, S. D. (1991). Setting the media's agenda: A power balance
perspective. In J. A. Anderson (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 14 (pp.
309-340). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Sigal, L. V. (1986). Sources are the news. In R. Manoff & M. Schudson
(Eds.), Reading the news (pp. 9-37). New York: Pantheon.
Sohn, A. (1984). Newspaper agenda-setting and community expectations.
Journalism Quarterly, 61, 892-897.
Soloski, J. (1989). Sources and channels of local news. Journalism
Quarterly, 66, 864-870.
Tichenor, P. J., Olien, C. N., Donohue, G. A. and Hindman D. B. (1993,
November). Advertising, extralocal reporting and newspaper change.
presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Association for Public
Opinion Research, Chicago, IL.
Tuchman, G. (1973). Making news by doing work: Routinizing the unexpected.
American Journal of Sociology, 79, 110-131.
Tuchman, G. (1978). Making news: A study in the construction of reality.
New York: Free Press.
Tunstall, J. (1971). Journalists at work. Specialist correspondents: Their
news organizations, news sources, & competitor-colleagues. London:
Weaver, D. H., & Wilhoit, G. C. (1986). The American journalist: A portrait
of U.S. news people and their work. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University
White, D. M. (1950). The gatekeeper: A case study in the selection of
news. Journalism Quarterly, 27, 383-396.
full survey item wordings by study concept
(Survey item number included for reference purposes)
11. When dealing with news sources, my role as a "watchdog" often guides my
16. My concerns about future interviews with a news source tend to reduce
my tendency to act as a source's adversary.
19. My role as a journalist demands that I treat news sources objectively
and fairly in all situations.
2. During my encounters with news sources, I often think about what
reporters I work with would do.
15. What other reporters at my paper think about a particular news source
is an important consideration in how I deal with that person.
21. My interaction with news sources is frequently shaped by what I think
other people in my profession would do.
3. My interactions with news sources are frequently shaped by what I think
my newspaper expects of me.
22. I tend to be mroe responsive to the concerns of my organization than to
the concerns of my news sources.
6. My understanding of the nature of my community often influences dealings
with news sources.
14. I tend to be more flexible with news sources who are influential in the
17. My newspaper's interests in the community often shape how I interact
with news sources.
7. If a source doesn't have much clout, I tend to feel more in charge
during interviews with that person.
9. I usually keep the expectations of a news source in mind when reporting
on a story.
18. In general, news sources have the upper hand over journalists.
20. The prestige of a news source's organization is an important
consideration in how I will interact with that news source.
Background Information for the Three Clusters
Years as a journalist (median=6)
0-6 years (n=28)
7 or more years (n=22)
Years with newspaper (median=3)
0-3 years (n=22)
4 or more years (n=28)
29 years or younger (n=24)
30 years or older (n=27)
Years lived in area (median=8)
0-7 years (n=25)
8 or more years (n=26)
News staff size
7 or fewer (n=35)
15 or more (n=16)
Have a journalism degree
50,000 or more (n=20)
25,000 to 30,000 (n=14)
5,000 t0 12,000 (n=17)