A matter of life and death? Examining how newspapers covered the newspaper "crisis"

Hsiang Iris Chyi, Seth C. Lewis, Nan Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


During 2008-2010, US newspapers covered the financial issues confronting their own industry extensively. Such coverage drew attention to the state of the newspaper but also raised questions about whether journalists over-reacted to this market downturn. This study examines how the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the New York Times framed the newspaper "crisis." Results show that coverage focused on short-term drama over long-term trends, lacked sufficient context, shifted blame away from newspapers themselves, invoked "death" imagery, and altogether struggled to capture a holistic portrayal of newspapers' troubles. The implications of this analysis for self-coverage and business journalism are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-324
Number of pages20
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study is funded by the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. We thank Tracy Dahlby, Angela M. Lee, Samantha Borger, and Brandon Fried for their support and assistance.


  • business journalism
  • content analysis
  • media economics
  • newspaper coverage
  • newspaper crisis
  • recession


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