In the second half of the twentieth century, the volume, content and appearance of arts journalism in Western daily newspapers have changed significantly in accordance with wider transformations in the arts and journalism. Previous studies have focused on (1) which culture receives attention, (2) the way culture gets attention, and (3) economic pressures underlying transformations. In this article we aim to bring these strands together by analyzing how changes in the packaging of arts journalism have evolved in relation to the cultural content which is discussed and the volume of (cultural) advertising that is featured in newspapers. We conduct a content analysis of the coverage given to both “highbrow” and “popular” art forms in French, German, Dutch and US elite newspapers for four sample years: 1955, 1975, 1995 and 2005. The results show that newspapers all seem to converge into a balance between news reporting and reviewing. We find evidence for an increased catering for the needs and interests of audiences in some aspects (e.g. more popular culture) but not in others (e.g. no more human interest). Finally, most newspapers show an increase in cultural advertising, although the European newspapers in our sample contain much less advertising than the American ones. A stronger presence of advertising is positively related to both a lifestyle orientation of newspapers and a focus on popular culture.

dx.doi.org/10.1080/17512786.2015.1051369, hdl.handle.net/1765/132919
Journalism Practice
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Verboord, M.N.M, & Janssen, M.S.S.E. (2015). Arts Journalism and its Packaging in France, Germany, The Netherlands and The United States, 1955–2005. Journalism Practice, 9(6), 829–852. doi:10.1080/17512786.2015.1051369