The domestic is the elite : A quantitative content analysis on how news are valued in four national Costa Rican newspapers

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för medier och journalistik (MJ)

Abstract: My study has questioned recognized factors of news valuation in the context of Costa Rican newspapers, with the aim at getting greater understanding in how news are valued in Costa Rican newspapers and what factors contribute to making an event the main article of an issue. My research therefore is a snapshot at how the news valuation process is conducted in Costa Rica at the moment. I furthermore went on to do a quantitative content analysis containing five theories of factors of news valuation, that I have theorised myself as a result of my research containing recognized factors of news valuation.   The data has been selected through a random selection process, and then collected via the national library in San José, Costa Rica. I then went on to carry through a quantitative content analysis, containing 46 variables from recognized factors of news valuation and an additional five variables from my own theories, on the selected samples.   The variables in my analysis to a great extent tried questioning the theories of Judy McGregor, Henk Prakke, Håkan Hvitfelt and Galtung and Ruge.   The results show that some of the theories created by mentioned scholar do apply in the news valuation process in Costa Rican newspapers. It furthermore show that some factors, mentioned by the same scholar, to have great impact in the news valuation process does not at all impact the news value of an event in Costa Rican newspapers. This study shows that there is cultural and geographical differences in how events are valued as newsworthy or not, and that the factors that are acknowledged as determining of news value in one region or country, may in fact not at all apply in another part of the world.   The results of my own theories show that there are differences in what factors that affect the news valuation process. My theories state that there are other factors that affect news values and that there can be opposing factors depending on in what country/region/journalistic area the news are valued.

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