News Beat Fluidity in Civic, Infotainment, and Service Role Performance Across Cultures

Claudia Mellado, Mireya Márquez-Ramírez, Cornelia Mothes, María Luisa Humanes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Based on a content analysis of 33,640 news stories from the Journalistic Role Performance project, this paper analyzes how civic, service and infotainment roles connect with thematic beats and vary across media organizations and cultures. We examine differences in role performance across politics, economics, crime, social affairs, court, and miscellaneous news beats in print news from 64 media outlets in 18 countries. Our study sheds light on the multiple ways in which thematic beats define the performance of audience-oriented roles in the news across countries. We offer multiple insights into how thematic beats are shaped by national journalistic cultures and news organizations' structural characteristics, with media audience orientation and ownership strongly affecting this relationship. Considering the factors at play, we propose a typology of news beats regarding their relationship to audiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1240-1271
Number of pages32
JournalJournalism Practice
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2021


  • News beat
  • journalism
  • news
  • professional roles
  • role performance
  • thematic beats


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