Newspaper content, Ownership, Speculation
This study began with the question of whether the press is conveying messages that contain speculation of future events as opposed to the recounting of current events. Speculative language is a form of subjective speech and as such its presence in press content defies the journalist principle of objectivity. The analysis sought to identify two newspaper's use of speculative language within headlines in the news sections. Two other variables considered were article placement, and the ownership structure of the news organizations. Previous research supports the claim that the ownership structure of an organization can influence the content it publishes (Lacy, 1986). With this in mind, the study attempted to determine if these variables have an affect on the nature or frequency of speculative language in news content. The researcher explored the question of speculative language in the press by analyzing headlines from the A (Main) and Local sections from two Florida newspapers, the corporately owned Orlando Sentinel and the independent St. Petersburg Times. The researcher chose to study headlines because they convey the newsworthiness of the story and former research confirms that reader perceptions of a news account can depend on the headline (Pfau, 1995; Tannenbaum, 1953). The aim was to comparatively study the news headlines through quantitative content analysis of the language used.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Nicholson School of Communication
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Hudock, Lindsay, "News Or Speculation? A Comparative Content Analysis Of Headlines And The Prevalence Of Speculative Language In Corporate And Independently Owned Newspapers" (2005). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 451.