The evolution of the structure of political journalism in four 'quality' newspapers (1970-1995).
In this thesis, I analyse the recent trends in the evolution of political journalism in four different countries
(England, France, Portugal, and the United States of America) during the past 25 years (1970-1995). For
this purpose, I have studied the modifications occurring in the political sections of four daily `quality'
newspapersD: iärio de Noticias (Lisbon), Le Monde (Paris), The New York Times (New York City), and
The Times (London).
The initial hypothesisis that political journalism, in its expressionin thesef our newspaperse,n tereda new
paradigm in the early 1970s. This paradigm, which was defined by a strong emphasis on interpretative
reporting, replaced a model of news production based on descriptive patterns of writing with long direct
quotationso f sources.I argue that there are four main reasonsf or the paradigms hift: the deregulationa nd
the globalisation of the media system;t he emergenceo f television as a major information provider; the
specialisationo f the political reporter,a nd the developmenot f political marketing.
Indeed since the 1970s, political journalism has been evolving inside a complex web of transformations
which affect the nucleus of both the media system and the political system. This comparative analysis
evaluatesth e trends of political journalism in different social, political, and cultural environments.T he
objective is to detectp atternso f evolution and structural similarities among the four newspapersu nder
I assessth e effect of this evolutiono n the idea of news during the past decadesa nd try to understandth e
reasonsb ehindt he decline of the idea of objectiver eporting. The researchin cludesa contenta nalysiso f the
structureo f political newss torieso f the four newspapersT. he aim is to detectt he mechanismso f changei n
this area and to test the validity of explanations found in the bibliographical review. I also analyse the
profile of the political reporter,t he recenth istory of the four newspapersa, nd the most important elements
of the medias ystemin the four countries.
This thesis revealst he following conclusionsp: olitical journalism is becomingm ore interpretative;t here is
both a relation of conflict and of complicity between political journalists and politicians; there is a decline in
the use of identified sources of information, and more diverse sources are used in news stories; political
marketing is affecting the norms of journalistic proceduresp; restigen ewspapersi,n four different societies,
are becoming much more alike among themselves.