Squeezing out economic news for business news? Changes in economic journalism over the past 20 years in South Korea

Na Yeon Lee, Kanghui Baek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to examine how economic journalism – news about economic issues – has changed over the past 20 years under pressure of the financial crisis experienced by newspaper companies in South Korea. A content analysis of 2442 articles published in South Korea’s three daily newspapers with the greatest circulation showed that between 1994 and 2014 the news topics and sources of economic issues changed significantly. Findings revealed that articles addressing broad issues about the economy-in-general (economic news) that are likely to be of public concern, such as unemployment and government policies, dropped from 53 to 32 percent, while news about individual businesses, which are current or potential purchasers of newspaper advertising, rose from 17 to 30 percent. Likewise, there was significant increase in the use of corporate spokespeople used as news sources, while government and independent spokespeople decreased. An additional source analysis demonstrated that articles about individual businesses highlighted the interests of individual corporations: only 10 percent of news articles about corporations challenged the perspectives of corporations. Findings suggest an imbalance of news coverage about economic issues that may limit the information that the public needs in order to make informed decisions about a wide range of economic issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1220-1238
Number of pages19
Issue number9-10
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2016.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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