Change of perspectives (News Performance)




news coverage, journalism, viewpoint diversity, plurality, deliberation


Field of application/theoretical foundation:

Analyses of change of perspectives are theoretically linked to the news performance and democratic function of the media (McQuail, 1992). This construct is related to viewpoint diversity and the normative expectation that different views should be presented in news coverage (Napoli & Gillis, 2008). In addition, more recent analysis focus on different perspective articulated in user comments, often linked to theories of deliberation (Baden & Springer, 2015).

References/combination with other methods of data collection:

Perspective change in news coverage is measured i) directly (e.g., by asking whether change of perspective is presented in an article) or i) indirectly by coding different perspective (e.g. statements including different viewpoints). Indirect measures can also be used in automated approaches (Möller et al., 2018). 

Example studies:

Baden & Springer (2014); Humprecht (2016)


Table 1. Study summaries



Unit of Analysis



Baden & Springer (2014)

Content type: Online news coverage on selected key events and user comments

Outlet/country: 5 German newspapers (Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Welt, TZ, Die Zeit, Spiegel)

Sampling period: Feb– July 2012

Sample size: 42 news articles, 384 user comments

News article: max. 2 main interpretative frames (the text’s ‘central organizing idea’)

User comments: main frame

Object of problem definition

Logic of evaluation:

inspired (Good is what is true, divine & amazing)

popular (Good is what the people want)

moral (Good is what is social, fair, & moral)

civic (Good is what is accepted & conventional)

economic (Good is what is profitable & creates value)

functional (good is what works)

ecological (good is what is sustainable & natural)


Logic of (inter)action: believing (interactions between the mind & the world)

desire (interaction btw the mind & objects)

ought (interaction btw the mind & people)

negotiation (interaction btw people & the social world)

exchange (interactions btw people & objects)

technology (interactions btw objects & the world)

life (interactions btw people & the natural world)


Authors coded coverage consensually

User comments: Holsti = 0.78

Problem definition’s object: Holsti = 0.60

Logic of Action: Holsti = 0.56

Evaluation logic: Holsti = 1

Humprecht (2016)

Content type: Political routine-period news

Outlet/ country: 48 online news outlets from six countries (CH, DE, FR, IT, UK, US)

Sampling period: June – July 2012

Sample size: N= 1660

Unit of analysis: Political news items (make reference to a political actor, e.g. politician, party, institution in headline, sub?headline, in first paragraph or in an accompanying visual)

News items are all journalistic articles mentioned on the front page (‘first layer’ of the website) that are linked to the actual story (on second layer of website)

Only one perspective (because underlying topic is uncontroversial)

One perspective (of a debated/controversial issue, no opposition voice)

Different perspectives mentioned (different sides, voices, camps, perspectives mentioned but not elaborated)

Co-presence of speakers with opposing views (expressed in separate utterances) in the same article. Story shows clear attempt at giving a balanced, fair account of debated/controversial issue by including diverse viewpoints and statements)

Cohen’s kappa = 0.64



Baden, C., & Springer, N. (2014). Com(ple)menting the news on the financial crisis: The contribution of news users’ commentary to the diversity of viewpoints in the public debate. European Journal of Communication.

Baden, C., & Springer, N. (2015). Conceptualizing viewpoint diversity in news discourse. Journalism, 1–19.

Humprecht, E. (2016). Shaping Online News Performance. In Palgrave Macmillan. Palgrave Macmillan UK.

McQuail, D. (1992). Media Performance: Mass Communication and the Public Interest. Sage Publications.

Möller, J., Trilling, D., Helberger, N., & van Es, B. (2018). Do not blame it on the algorithm: an empirical assessment of multiple recommender systems and their impact on content diversity. Information Communication and Society, 21(7), 959–977.

Napoli, P., & Gillis, N. (2008). Media Ownership and the Diversity Index: Outlining a Social Science Research Agenda (No. 5; McGannon Center Working Paper Series).



How to Cite

Humprecht, E. (2021). Change of perspectives (News Performance). DOCA - Database of Variables for Content Analysis, 1(2).



News/Journalism: Variables for Content Analysis