O'Neill, Deirdre (2017) New Values and Selectivity in the Construction of News: Commentary on Peer-Reviewed Published Research Articles. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This Commentary critically appraises my body of work over 15 years, the starting and end points being an exploration of the news values underlying the selection of news carried out 15 years apart, via various case study research articles that examine the type and quality of news that audiences receive.

This body of work interrogates – from a range of perspectives – the ways in which some voices are privileged in the press, others are marginalised, while still others are absent in the news. I explore these issues from the perspective of the selection of news, through news values and source selection; how journalists develop those values and use sources to shape the news; the manner in which labour disputes are reported and trade union officials and members are legitimised or delegitimised; the extent to which celebrities are adopted and promoted in the news; how the views and achievements of women politicians are reported; and whether women have made headway in sports news, both in terms of the coverage of women athletes and in sports writing.

The Commentary contextualises this body of work within both critical theoretical perspectives and rapid cultural, technical and social changes to situate the nine publications submitted for the degree to make clear the coherent nature of my inquiries.

In this research I have maintained a contemporary analytical approach that suggests that the processes by which sources are chosen and news is selected undermines the plurality of voices in the press; that previous understandings of news values are outdated and that news values change over time and need to be revisited; that independent reporting is limited and a great deal of news relies on press subsidies with vested interests; and that ideological factors are frequently being played out in the news we receive. All of these findings have negative implications for the range and quality of our news.

My findings have contributed to national and international debates about the news media, including an All-Party Parliamentary Report into Women in Parliament, challenged taken-for granted views about the news we receive and questioned the quality and bias of our news. The research has been disseminated nationally and internationally at leading conferences and in international journals and books, and in press articles, and is widely cited.

FINAL THESIS - O'Neill.pdf - Accepted Version
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