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The crowding-out effect : issue dynamics and attention to environmental issues in television news reporting over 30 years

Journal article
Authors Monika Djerf-Pierre
Published in Journalism Studies
Volume 13
Issue 4
Pages 499-516
ISSN 1461-670X
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Pages 499-516
Language en
Keywords environmental journalism, environmental news, issue attention cycles, issue dynamics, intra-media, climate-change, media coverage, ozone hole, agenda, newspapers, power, us
Subject categories Media Studies


The study of intra-media agenda setting and issue dynamics in news reporting is essential to the understanding of the construction of issue attention cycles in the news. The present article identifies two factors-issue fatigue and issue competition-that influence the longitudinal development of issues in the news; factors that can contribute to explain the decline in attention to previously salient issues on the news agenda. Issue competition is present when a high level of attention to one issue "crowds out" attention to other issues in the same news outlet in a given period of time. The specific focus of the analysis is on the cyclical pattern in news attention to environmental issues and the article shows how environmental news is crowded-out by economic news and news on war and armed conflicts in times of crises. The empirical data consist of quantitative analyses of the attention patterns in news reporting in Swedish television news over three decades, 1979-2009.

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