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Watchdogs in Chile and the United States: Comparing the Networks of Sources and Journalistic Role Performances.

This study examined journalistic role performances in two different media systems: in Chile and in the United States. The main focus of inquiry was to assess how journalistic roles are performed and connected to sourcing in print news stories. The results revealed that the two media systems exercise different professional performances of the watchdog role. The watchdog role in the United States was centrally connected to political and government sources in news stories (54.3% of news stories performed the watchdog model), whereas the watchdog role in Chile was performed significantly less often in national news stories (11.2%) and showed weaker ties to political sources than the U.S. sample. Meanwhile, Chilean journalists covered political sources by performing the interventionist, the infotainment, or the civic journalistic role. Furthermore, the average number of sources per news item in U.S. news was 5.20, whereas the average number in Chilean items was 2.05. The findings are discussed in relation to the two cultural and political contexts.

Keywords: journalistic role performance, media systems, comparative research, watchdog journalism

A nation and its press system (Berkowitz, 2011) shapes the way journalists interact with sources and society's understanding of what journalists should do. Journalists across the world are socialized into their occupational practices and ideologies, and they use these to self-legitimize their position in society (Deuze, 2011). Self-legitimization rituals become most evident in the ways that reporters perform their journalistic roles. The concept of journalistic role performance is central to understanding differences in journalistic cultures. Studies on journalistic role performance situate journalists in their institutional and cultural contexts, where the power of the individual expresses itself mainly through occupational channels, newsrooms, and news stories (Shoemaker & Reese, 2013). As an analytical concept, journalistic role performance deals with concrete newsroom decisions that manifest in the news stories those organizations publish. Studies on journalistic role performance are further concerned with the collective outcome of concrete newsroom decisions and the internal and external forces such as journalistic routines and political and economic circumstances that shape the coverage of news (Mellado, 2015). This study is particularly interested in identifying common patterns of journalistic role performance in two different political media systems: in Chile and in the United States. These two systems were selected because the Western press has been the source of inspiration for journalistic cultures beyond the Western world for more than two centuries, and more recently, surveys of journalists' attitudes have supported the claim of a growing homogenization of journalistic cultures (Waisbord, 2013).

The common aspiration among many journalists around the world is to do watchdog reporting (Strelitz & Steenveld, 1998). Watchdog journalism has been defined as the journalists' scrutiny of institutions of power, including governments and businesses, by critically reporting in a timely way on issues of public concern (Bennett & Serrin, 2005). The watchdog model is synonymous with Western media, particularly the U.S. press (Hanitzsch, 2011; Waisbord, 2000). Yet in most countries around the world, watchdog reporting cannot be realized because of obstacles including government control, corporate control over media, and the impact of cartels on journalists' self-censorship (Waisbord, 2013). The news media's performance rarely corresponds to normative prescriptions of how the media ought to function (Coronel, 2010).

The way journalists cover news profoundly impacts the shaping of the public and private spheres (Mellado, 2015). Analyzing role performance can reveal larger distinctions between media systems than the study of journalists' attitudes. For example, in a content analysis of national news stories of five Chilean national newspapers in 2010, Mellado and Lagos (2014) found that the watchdog role was nearly absent in the stories analyzed. On the other hand, when surveying journalists and asking about their perceptions in Chile, Mellado and Van Dalen (2014) found that Chilean journalists considered the watchdog role to be one of the most important roles (four out of 10 identified the value as extremely important).

Therefore, this study uses a comparative approach to empirically examine the two political systems and their effects on the performance of journalistic roles in newspaper articles. Following the theoretical arguments that journalistic roles can coexist (e.g., see Weaver, Beam, Brownlee, Voakes, & Wilhoit, 2007), network analysis is used to shed light on the coexistence of journalistic role performances.

Despite the growing importance of global perspectives, Western traditions heavily influence normative assumptions about how journalism should work in a society. Conceptualizing and assessing journalistic role performance from different political systems, as this study aims to do, is necessary to enrich a field that has been historically organized around analytical concepts, epistemologies, and evidence developed in the United States and Western Europe (Waisbord & Mellado, 2014).

Literature Review

The literature review first addresses the historical relevance of watchdog journalism, particularly in U.S. journalism. The development of watchdog journalism in Chile is also outlined. The second part deals with integrating the watchdog role performance with journalistic role performance for a theoretical approach. The watchdog role is situated with other roles to develop a coherent conceptualization of journalistic role performance.

Watchdog Journalism

One of the most recent impetuses to restructure the field of journalism occurred after the watchdog model was deemed antiquated and flawed in the aftermath of September 11 in the United States (Bennett, Lawrence, & Livingston, 2008). Many American journalists reinterpreted their role conceptions to reflect the burgeoning desire to guide, help, and intercede for the American public (Bennett et al., 2008), and within the past 15 years, journalists have been reconceptualizing their roles to adhere to a more civic-oriented form of journalism (Voakes, 1999). Even though the term watchdog is often associated with journalism, it has become a buzzword. Literature dedicated to watchdog journalism does not always provide a definitive concept of what the watchdog model entails (Pinto, 2009). In the history of American journalism, the concept of watchdog journalism evolved to prominently include investigative reporting in the 1960s with the advent of the Vietnam War, civil rights movement, and political corruption (Feldstein, 2006). It was at that time that newsrooms throughout the country began to set up investigative teams and that in-depth news programs premiered on television (Glasser & Ettema, 1989). Most prominent and with long-lasting effects was Woodward and Bernstein's unearthing of the Watergate scandal (Carlson, 2010). Coverage of this story is deemed as one of the greatest examples of investigative journalism in American history (De Witt, 1992); however, it could be argued that this was the exception rather than the norm. This does not prevent journalists from aspiring to the watchdog performance, or at least accepting that it is a highly emphasized performative model in the United States.

Marder (1998) explained that the watchdog model cannot consist only of occasional in-depth exposes but that it requires journalists to be in the mind-set of asking elites and government leaders hard-hitting questions for the general public. In a world where information management has become sophisticated in that every notable business or organization invests large amounts of money in it, the notion of watchdog journalism is particularly important (Schultz, 1998). Yet, this model of journalists acting as watchdogs becomes complex when factors such as prestige and structural biases are taken into account. For example, depending on their reputations and status, journalists and politicians treat each other differently (Gnisci, Van Dalen, & Di Conza, 2014).

Much scholarship in recent years (Bennett, 2009; Ho et al., 2011; Kumar, 2010; Powell, 2011) has discussed the sleeping watchdog that has failed to be critical following September 11, 2011, and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Evans (2010) explained that since the end of the Cold War, political analysts and perhaps journalists themselves were looking for a new scapegoat for the causes of international conflicts. It can be argued that naming the "axis of evil" and "war on terror" was an attempt to fill this void and therefore contributed to how post-9/11 events were covered. And these catchphrases from the Bush administration were adopted with little resistance by media around the United States (Harmon & Muenchen, 2009). Glazier and Boydstun (2012) concluded that the press failed in their post-9/11 and Iraq War coverage as watchdogs, failed to question authority, and failed to do meticulous fact-checking. Starkman (2011) pointed out the reappearance of the barkless watchdog or lapdog during the 2008 financial crisis when journalists investigated Wall Street bankers and mortgage lenders.

Criticisms of journalists' failure to bark are rooted in the cohesiveness rather than tension between American journalists and the U.S. presidential administration (Bennett, 2009; Entman, 2004). Although it seems unlikely that the watchdog model will be replaced entirely anytime soon, such scholarly reproach does offer justification for seeking alternative models as viable forms of journalism. Furthermore, understanding that American journalists still perceive themselves to be watchdogs (Willnat & Weaver, 2014), it is necessary to understand how that perception manifests in journalistic content and, more importantly, how it manifests in comparison to other role performances within the same system and in comparison to other media systems.

Chile presents an interesting starting point for comparison to the United States and, in particular, to the sourcing routines connected to journalistic role performances. At present, Chile is one of the most competitive and stable democracies and economies in Latin America. It had to recover from major political traumas of its military dictatorship from 1973 to 1989. The consolidation of market economics in Chile has shaped the development of its media over the past two decades. Most media organizations are private models with advertising as the main revenue source, and audience ratings have become increasingly important (Lagos, Cabalin, Checa, & Pena y Lillo, 2012). On the other hand, the Chilean media tend to be characterized by a strong political parallelism in which media, political parties, and economic powers are linked. Currently, a significant number of media owners in Chile belong to powerful political and economic echelons (Monckeberg, 2009). In particular, Chile holds the highest rate of concentration in media ownership in all of Latin America (Becerra & Mastrini, 2009). Some authors have described the Chilean journalism evolution from having a critical and combative stance to a depoliticized and condescending attitude toward political officials and the status quo (Hughes, 2006; Leon-Dermota, 2003). Others have emphasized the longer term impacts of commercialization in the shift from civic and watchdog journalism toward forms of entertainment journalism and from an emphasis on public service and the strengthening of democracy to the search for economic profit (Waisbord, 2000).

Journalistic Role Performance: A Theoretical Framework

If forms of entertainment journalism are replacing watchdog journalism, one aim of journalism scholarship is to conceptualize role performance under a theoretical umbrella. One of the most recent initiatives that studied professional roles in journalism is the 28-country project Journalistic Role Performance Around the Globe, which connects characteristics of journalistic roles with reporting styles, analyzed by content analysis (Hellmueller & Mellado, 2015; Mellado, 2015; Mellado & Lagos, 2014; Mellado & Van Dalen, 2014). Based on previous literature, three domains of professional roles are identified. First is the presence of journalistic voice in a story. The passive, detached stance has been associated with the neutral and disseminator roles of journalists, whereas the active stance has been linked to the expression of journalistic voices in their actual reporting that refers to journalists as participants or advocates. These two ways of reporting have been identified in reporting styles across the world, "whereby a greater level of presence of journalistic voice implies higher levels of intervention, and vice versa" (Mellado, 2015, p. 5). Second is the relationship journalism has with the power structure: whether journalists serve as facilitators to the government or perform a critical role as watchdogs. The third domain is the way a news story engages audiences as consumers, citizens, entertainers, and so on (Donsbach, 2008; Hanitzsch, 2007; Mellado, 2015).

The first domain deals with the presence or absence of journalistic voice in the news, whether journalists perform a disseminator or an interventionist role. The second domain is concerned with the way journalists interact with those in power, and this is manifested in the watchdog and the loyal-facilitator models that are conceptualized as two independent role performance models. On one hand, the watchdog model consists of questioning, criticizing, and quoting sources that criticize others. On the other hand, the loyal-facilitator model materializes when journalists cooperate with those in power and protect the status quo. It focuses on the de facto power of the nation-state and encourages the strengthening of national prestige. The final domain consists of three independent models of role performance that each deal with a different understanding of the audience: the service, infotainment, and the civic-oriented models of journalistic role performance. It is important to note that all these models can coexist because "news content may also present attributes of different roles at the same time. Furthermore, these dimensions of journalistic role performance are not discreet and they may overlap in practice" (Mellado, 2015, p. 603).

As explained by these domains, sources are important in shaping media agendas (Benson, 2013). For example, the roles news organizations perform is not without consequences: Whether news organizations or journalists perform a watchdog or a civic-oriented role may affect the sources they choose, the topics they cover, and the media agenda. News stories that emphasize citizen sources and community perspective, for example, are often consistent with the civic-oriented model of journalism (Kurpius, 2002).

Therefore, the following study tries to understand how journalistic sourcing is related to journalistic role performance in two different media systems. This comparative analysis sheds light on how different the networks of sources and journalistic role performances are in Chile and the United States. The following research questions are posed:
RQ1:  How prominent is the watchdog role performance in comparison to
      other role performances in the United States compared to Chile?
RQ2:  What journalism role performances are predominantly connected
      with what specific sources in the Chilean and the U.S. national


This study applied the method of network analysis, which examines the relationship between issues and attitudes (Guo, 2013). In the field of mass communication, network analysis has been applied to examine interactions between nodes such as news groups, news sources, characters on television shows, and websites (Choi & Danowski, 2002; Yuan & Ksiazek, 2011). The purpose of this empirical study is to apply network analysis to journalistic role performance. Previous scholars applying network analysis to agenda setting, for example, have used the terms social network analysis and network analysis interchangeably (Guo, 2012). The term network analysis is used in this study because it does not focus exclusively on social networks. The application of network analysis to the area of role performance can help map different roles of journalists that are performed simultaneously and can greatly enrich journalistic role performance's theoretical strength and scope. Network analysis responds to the world and human mind that are networked (Guo, 2013). For example, a poll by The New York Times showed that more than two-thirds of respondents believed that illegal immigration weakens the economy, whereas others argued that immigration is important to a struggling economy (Campo-Flores, 2010). In our brains, numerous associative networks are composed of interconnected objects (economy and immigration) and attributes toward those. Rather than asking about the salience of a performed role, the question is how those networks are built in our minds and the way journalism contributes to those networks.

The same question can be asked in relation to how journalism professionalism is built and what that entails in different journalistic cultures. For example, in the case of Latin America, the fact that military dictatorships were dominant for much of the 20th century led to a disregard of neutrality and the display of political and ideological journalism (Waisbord, 2013), which then led to different networks of journalistic role performance than in the United States. The combination of political democracy and the acceptance of Western professionalism have not led to the adoption of such a journalistic role performance in Chilean journalism. The application of network analysis enables the mapping of those source networks and professional models. Patterns of sources can then be detected in the way that journalists cover politicians and civil society with an interventionist role, watchdog role, or facilitator role. Most importantly, however, it is possible to interpret the centrality of the sources to the performance model and compare the ties to other role performances. The ways in which news media perform different roles in news coverage (e.g., whether the watchdog model appears more frequently than the facilitator model) will affect the public's cognitive network of that particular journalistic role performance. A network analysis approach is helpful because humans' cognitive understanding of external social reality is represented in our minds as a network-like picture (Kaplan, 1973).

Network analysis analyzes which objects are at the center of the picture and which themes are most extensively connected with others (Wasserman & Faust, 1994). Such an analysis cannot be achieved with a simple correlation analysis. The goal for network analysis in this study is to analyze the interrelationships between role performances and the sources covered. It will reveal the reoccurrence of sources covered in relation with journalistic role performance. In addition, network analysis examines the strength of connections. In network analysis, the unit of analysis is a dyad--the two elements and their relational ties (Wasserman & Faust, 1994).


The sampled news stories were published in 2012 and 2013. In the United States, the following newspapers were included: The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. In Chile, the newspapers were El Mercurio, La Tercera, Las Ultimas Noticias, and La Cuarta. This is a study that looks at national media systems and thus tries to represent the media system in each country. Even if a country's major newspaper is a tabloid paper, it was included to accurately identify and represent the media market in a particular country. Hence, the aim is not to match the samples but to identify representative newspapers of each country. Criteria for choosing the newspapers were audience size and reach, ownership, and media orientation.

The study applied a constructed-week method and selected a stratified sample of each newspaper (Riffe, Lacy, & Fico, 2005). For each newspaper, a one-week sample for every six months of publication was selected, making sure that every month of the year was represented by at least one day. In total, two constructed news weeks were sampled per newspaper per calendar year. This sampling strategy has been considered statistically sufficient to allow for "reliable estimates" (Riffe, Aust, & Lacy, 1993, p. 139).

In Chile, the photocopies of newspapers were obtained from the national library database. In the United States, the scans of entire newspapers were obtained from library databases at various American universities.

All news stories from the national desk were included in the sample. The coding of the news articles was done in 2014 and 2015 in the two countries: Three coders in Chile and five coders in the United States were trained. The coding yielded an acceptable reliability scores for the models and the variables included in this study, and this reached satisfactory levels of agreement for all the variables. In the case of the United States, Krippendorff's alpha ranged from .72 to .87 for sources and .71 to .85 for role performance models. In the case of Chile, Krippendorff's alpha ranged from .71 to .82 for sources and .73 to .90 for role performance models.

The coding manual included categories to measure each of the role performances and source use (see Tables 1 and 2). The role performance items were coded to indicate presence (1) or absence (0). The items were then recoded so that higher compulsive scores of all items combined were divided by the total number of items (range: 0-1). A higher score expressed higher presence of those journalistic role performance models. Based on journalistic role research, the assumption leading this analysis strategy was that multiple roles can coexist (e.g., Mellado, 2015; Weaver et al., 2007). For the purpose of the network analysis, the items then had to be split into high or low expression for each model (see Table 1 for how each journalistic role performance was operationalized).


Findings from RQ1 addressed the value of watchdog role performance in the United States and Chile. Most importantly, there were significant differences in the ways journalistic roles were performed in the two countries. The watchdog role of the press appeared in the U.S. press in 54.3% of articles, but the role appeared less prominently in the Chilean press (11.2%). On the other hand, the service model was more salient in the Chilean press (11.5%) than in the U.S. press (5.0%). As for sourcing, overall, the average number of sources per news items in the U.S. news coverage was 5.2, whereas it was 2.05 in the Chilean news coverage. This explains the less frequent usage of political sources in the Chilean press (53.4%) compared to the United States (75.5%), the use of fewer expert sources (Chile: 9.2%; U.S.: 33.7%), and the use of fewer document sources (Chile: 25%; U.S.: 41%; see Tables 3 and 4).

The Networks of Role Performance and Sources

Because the goal of the network analysis was to explore the interrelationships between journalistic role performance models and sources, their co-occurrences were coded in the next step. Thus, the unit of analysis was their relational ties that those elements represented. The content data in both the United States and Chile were transferred to matrices (see Tables 5 and 6).

The entry in each cell reflects the interrelationship between journalistic role performance models and sources. For each source type (e.g., business), the frequency within each journalistic role performance model was calculated (see Tables 5 and 6).

One of the most important concepts in network analysis is centrality (Guo, 2012), which means that the more ties an issue or a source type has with others, the more centrally it is located in the network. First, the networks in both countries were investigated. Second, quadratic assignment procedures (QAP) were applied to test associations between different networks in the United States and Chile. To answer RQ2, QAP tests were conducted to explore the correlations between the network matrices in Chile and the United States. The QAP correlation coefficient was .649 (p < .005). This indicates that the two networks are significantly correlated with each other overall. This correlation is not at the connection level but rather at the network level, meaning that this correlation does not refer to each individual connection being correlated but rather that the overall matrices are correlated with each other. In other words, reporters in Chile and in the United States use similar sources for the professional performance of journalism.

The network analysis reveals the nodes in the center of the network, which have the highest number of connections with other nodes, and on the outside, which have fewer connections. The distance of the ties indicates how strong an individual tie is. Nodes that are very close together tend to occur together a large number of times. Nodes that are rather far away occur together fewer times. The analysis excluded any isolated nodes (variables that had no significant ties) from the model. The significance of pathways was calculated as follows: The data set was bootstrapped 2,000 times to create a co-occurrence matrix out of each. From the medians, means, and 95% confidence intervals for each one of the parameters in the matrix, the ties were established. If the upper bound of the confidence interval was less than the average, the counts were pruned from the model, as they are insignificant ties in the overall model.

Journalistic Role Performances Networks in Chile and the United States

In the United States, the idea of journalistic professionalism and how that relates to sourcing seems limited to specific journalistic role performances. Whereas all six role performances can be found in the final graph for Chile, in the United States, the facilitator model and the service-oriented model are both absent from the final network because no significant pathways to sources or other journalistic role performance models could be identified (see Figures 1 and 2). The watchdog model is at the heart of U.S. journalism and is closely connected to sourcing; thus, this model has strong ties to political, human, and document sources, meaning that these types of sources appear together in news stories. The civic-oriented journalism model in the United States has strong ties to ordinary people and document sources as well. In Chile, on the other hand, the watchdog model is not as institutionalized and routinized as in the United States, so the model is not as centrally linked to political sources or document sources. Thus, the watchdog model is not centrally presented in the final visualization of the Chilean case.

At least three factors explain the lower manifestation of the watchdog model in the Chilean press: (a) the structure of media ownership, because the majority of newspapers in Chile are owned by only two major holdings (Mellado & Lagos, 2014), (b) the impact of commercialization in the shift from a more citizen-oriented and watchdog type of journalism toward entertainment and the pursuit of economic profit (Waisbord, 2000), and (c) the fear and self-censorship of the press following the Chilean political transition (Leon-Dermota, 2003). In fact, Chilean laws are still far from guaranteeing media freedoms and include, for example, sanctions for secret capturing of images and sounds and potential punishment for slander and defamation (Leon-Dermota, 2003).


The watchdog role was dominant in U.S. journalism and appeared in close relationship with political sources. In contrast, the watchdog journalistic performance in Chile was present in only a small number of the sampled news articles. The results also show that political sources were frequently covered with the infotainment and interventionist models in Chilean news coverage.

This study is one of the first comparative attempts of journalistic role performance from a network analysis perspective. Network analysis provides an alternative way to map journalistic role performance and its connections to other performances and sourcing. For example, Chilean media still have a higher tendency than those in the United States to cover political sources with the interventionist and infotainment models. Although the watchdog model in Chile uses mostly political sources, the network ties are weaker than with the interventionist and infotainment models, and the watchdog model is not centrally located (see Figures 1 and 2). In the case of Chile, this may be related to the increase of spectacularization (i.e., sensational and tabloid-style news) in politics, possibly because of the framing of politics as a game more than as a public service (Santander, 2007). In the United States, on the other hand, the watchdog model is at the heart of news reporting, and it is the role performance that has the most connections with journalistic sources.

Although a watchdog style of journalism would be more logical in a country such as Chile where democracy has been restored after a period of dictatorship, knowing the press history of the country can shed some light in this regard. The origins of newspapers in Chile were linked to political movements leaning toward a partisan press more than to a watchdog press. In addition, the fear and self-censorship by the Chilean press following a period of dictatorship could explain the low presence of this model in news coverage. The watchdog model began only in the 1970s, with newspapers and especially magazines in opposition to the military dictatorship trying to denounce the crimes of the regime. (3) Given the links of the Chilean press to opposition parties and movements, their funding came not just from commercial sources but also from ideological sources. Ultimately, the media lost funding from international associations while the dictatorship was active, so they could not survive in the market. Only two major holdings concentrate the majority of newspapers in Chile, both having economic and political interests in different areas (Lagos et al., 2012; Monckeberg, 2009). The high media concentration in Chile might have affected the results.

More research is needed on other countries around the globe to understand the way professional models of journalism are connected to sources and issues. Without a doubt, network analysis will remain central to understanding how journalistic professionalism is contextualized in different media systems. Although this study produced significant results on the performance of the watchdog role, it is not without limitations. It is also important to expand the analysis to other media channels because audiences do not seek out news exclusively from newspapers (Pew Research Center, 2013). An interesting undertaking would be to extend this analysis to online news to investigate how much professionalism and public service expression can be found in stories published online in those same newspapers. By taking into account the context of journalistic cultures, it is possible to understand the manifestation of journalistic role performance in news content. And by linking journalistic role performances to sourcing, it is possible to map different cultural contexts of sourcing. This study initiated a dialogue between the practice of journalism and its normative stance--how sourcing practices contextualize journalistic role performances.


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University of Houston, USA


Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, Chile

Lea Hellmueller:

Claudia Mellado:

Date submitted: 2015-12-07

(1) We would like to thank Dr. Lei Guo and Dr. Max McCombs for their guidance and help with network analysis and the anonymous reviewers for their detailed feedback and expert comments.

(2) This paper has received funding from Chilean Grant Fondecyt 1150153.

(3) Chile has seen the emergence of independent news platforms such as CIPER and El Mostrador, with a clear focus on investigative journalism.
Table 1. Journalistic Role Performance Indicators (Mellado, 2015).

Domain of Journalistic  Dimension of Role
Role Performance        Performance

Journalistic voice      Interventionist (active) stance of
                        the journalistic voice in news
Power relations         Watchdog and loyal-facilitator
                        roles that deal with the
                        relationship of journalism with
                        the power structure.

Audience approach       The way journalists approach and
                        conceptualize their audiences.
                        Has three independent
                        dimensions: civic approach,
                        infotainment approach, service

Domain of Journalistic  Practices and Indicators of Role
Role Performance        Performance

Journalistic voice      Interventionist: Taking sides, providing
                        interpretation, providing proposals, using
                        adjectives and first-person perspective.
Power relations         Watchdog: Questioning, critiquing,
                        denouncing, conflicting, covering trials
                        and processes, investigative reporting,
                        performing external research.
                        Loyal facilitator: Supporting institutional
                        activities, promoting national or regional
                        policies, providing a positive image of
                        political and economic elite, highlighting
                        country's progress, comparing the
                        country/region with others, highlighting
                        national triumphs, promoting of the
                        country, exhibiting patriotism.
Audience approach       Civic: Presenting citizen perspective,
                        citizen demand, citizen questions,
                        credibility of citizens, support of citizen
                        movements; educating on duties and
                        rights; providing background information
                        and information on citizen activities;
                        showing the local impact.
                        Service: Showing impact on everyday
                        life, giving tips and advice about
                        grievances, giving tips and advice about
                        individual risks, giving consumer advice.
                        Infotainment: Providing personalization;
                        publicizing private life; emphasizing
                        sensationalism, scandal, emotion, morbid

Table 2. Source Categories.

Variable           Coding Procedure

Number of sources  This refers to the total number of sources quoted in
                   the story. It includes
                   direct quotes and indirect quotes (paraphrases). If
                   an organization is
                   quoted, it counts as one. If the same source is
                   quoted two times, it is
                   considered one source.
Document sources   A document source is a publication or other record
                   that provides
                   information and that may be used in other
                   publications. Examples of
                   document sources include official records, press
                   releases, publications,
                   and external news media reports.
Human sources      A human source is a person, spokesperson, or
                   representative quoted in
                   the news. The information is gathered from a person
                   rather than from a
Source Type
Political          A person that works in national, regional or
                   provincial, or municipal
                   government. Thus, this category includes a wide
                   array of government
                   employees, such as bureaucrats, administrators,
                   executives, who participate in governmental
                   activities. This category also
                   refers to members of political parties with or
                   without parliamentary
Business/company   A spokesperson or representative from the commercial
                   sector or a trade
                   group. It includes associations from the corporate
                   sector; companies
                   (public or private), and specific businesspeople or
                   their employees who
                   are individually consulted as sources of information
                   either because of
                   their relevance and specific clout or for testimony.
Civil society      Members of an organized civil society, such as an
                   NGO, union, church, or
                   similar social organization, outside of the state
                   and business worlds.
Ordinary people    Everyday citizens (vox populi). This includes people
                   as individual sources
                   of information who are not represented in any of the
                   previous categories.
                   These sources are speaking only for themselves.
Media              People who speak in representation of a
                   communication media outlet,
                   citations of information published in a media
                   outlet, or journalists (other
                   than the author of the news item) as individuals.
Expert             Informative sources that are consulted as
                   specialists in a specific area,
                   such as practitioners or researchers from
                   universities, applied research
                   institutes, private research centers, hospitals, or
                   any other institution
                   that is recognized for its output of knowledge.
Anonymous          Sources whose identities are not mentioned and
                   sources who are
                   explicitly referred to as anonymous.

Table 3. Role Performance Model: Frequencies and Percentages.

                            United States (N = 1,444)
Role Performance Model (a)   Frequency  Percentage

Loyal facilitator                96         6.8
Service                          71         5.0
Infotainment                    412        29
Interventionist                 657        46.2
Civic                           389        27.4
Watchdog                        771        54.3

                            Chile (N = 2,582)
Role Performance Model (a)  Frequency  Percentage

Loyal facilitator              218         8.4
Service                        298        11.5
Infotainment                   726        28.1
Interventionist                855        33.1
Civic                          522        22.2
Watchdog                       289        11.2

Note: The total percentages add up to 168.70% for U.S. newspaper
stories and 114.50% for the Chilean newspaper stories because multiple
sources could be coded for one news story.
(a.) Roles can coexist (Weaver et al., 2007). To follow this finding,
the performances' scores were split into present or absent for the
final analysis.

Table 4. Source Categories: Frequencies and Percentages.

                  United States (a) (N = 1,444)  Chile (b) (N = 2,582)
Source Category      Frequency  Percentage       Frequency  Percentage

 Document source        583       41.0              645        25.0
 Human source         1,329       93.5            2,005        77.7
Source Type
 Political            1,073       75.5            1,380        53.4
 Business               485       34.1              497        19.2
 Civic society          287       20.2              256         9.9
 Ordinary people        421       29.7              419        16.2
 Media                  208       14.7               97         3.8
 Expert                 479       33.7              238         9.2
 Anonymous              141        9.9              328        12.7

(a.) The average number of sources per news item in the U.S. news
coverage was 5.20.
(b.) The average number of sources per news item in the Chilean news
coverage was 2.05.

Table 5. The U.S. Network Agenda Matrix, in Percentages.

Source           Document  Human  Political  Business  Civic
Role                                                   society

Facilitator        5.18     4.49    4.49       5.46     4.29
Service            3.94     3.46    4.22       5.60     4.09
Infotainment      15.08    17.22   16.04      16.64    15.01
Interventionism   26.01    26.95   26.99      27.88    24.56
Civic             16.66    16.76   15.13      17.34    21.06
Watchdog          33.13    31.12   33.13      27.08    30.99

Source           Ordinary  Media  Expert  Anonymous
Role             people

Facilitator       2.66      4.70   6.83      6.56
Service           3.30      3.76   5.85      5.02
Infotainment     22.46     16.62  15.94     18.92
Interventionism  22.47     26.33  26.84     31.66
Civic            24.49     15.68  15.32      7.72
Watchdog         24.62     32.92  29.22     30.12

Table 6. The Chilean Network Agenda Matrix, in Percentages.

Role             Document  Human  Political  Business  Civic

Facilitator       7.37      7.60     7.77      9.72     7.50
Service          11.52     10.26     8.60     19.10     7.50
Infotainment     18.29     24.50    28.29     19.10    18.75
Interventionism  30.08     29.34    21.22     32.99    27.50
Civic            19.17     18.23    21.22     12.50    25.63
Watchdog         13.57     10.07    12.90      6.60    13.12

Role             Ordinary  Media  Expert  Anonymous

Facilitator        4.44     6.85   7.91      4.68
Service            7.51     5.48  16.95      4.09
Infotainment      35.84    28.77  19.21     28.65
Interventionism   23.21    34.25  35.03     31.58
Civic             21.16    16.44  16.38     19.30
Watchdog           7.85     8.22   4.52     11.69

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Author:Hellmueller, Lea; Mellado, Claudia
Publication:International journal of communication (Online)
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Date:Jun 1, 2016
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