Revista Latina

Referees' reports - 2010

Without any doubt, I consider it advisable to publish “Terrorism and Politics Predominate on the Front Pages of the Basque Press. Content and Area Analysis of the Front Pages of the Regional Newspapers”.

The text is the result of a research project of the UPV-EHU that analyses the front pages of the Basque press, inquiring into the possible correspondence between its content and the demands and interests of its readers.

It is especially important to have access to research that analyses nearly 2,500 front pages of the 5 most important Basque newspapers, in which their “hybrid” character is revealed.

It is worth emphasising the thorough description in the analysis of page surface area, bearing in mind the so-called “false main news stories”; the distinction made in the analysis between the “local”, “regional”, “national” and “international” spaces and the suggestive use of colour as a measuring instrument are of special interest.

The question is of crucial importance and a detailed analysis of such a wide corpus, with such relevant waves and samples, make this text especially significant; its publication will enable a great many researchers in this field to approach an important work.– Dr. Jorge Lozano - Professor of Journalism at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, UCM.

This is an article that makes a relevant contribution on a subject of great interest for readers of the journal. It is an analysis of the front pages of the press of the Basque Autonomous Community; its aim is to determine whether or not the content it publishes is adapted to the readers’ interests and concerns.

The report describes a rigorously developed research project that analyses, through the design of a specific methodological strategy, close to 2,500 front pages of five Basque newspapers in three different temporal waves, employing both quantitative and qualitative strategies. It yields conclusions that are fairly surprising when compared with the different indices of surveys showing the interests and concerns of citizens.

A first conclusion it reaches, which we consider understandable and to be expected, is that “the front pages of the newspapers tend to adapt to the concerns and interests of the readers” although time is needed for such adaptation to achieve a reasonable match, in the authors words.

Other less expectable conclusions are that the presence of content falls below what readers demand in the categories of economy and accidents and crimes, while, on the contrary, there is an excessive presence of content in the politics section, when compared with the results of surveys on interest. The same occurs with the content included in the sports category, whose great presence on the front pages is not explicable from the data obtained on the preferences and opinions of citizens.

In general terms, the article seems to me of great interest and I believe that it raises a series of questions –future lines of research– on the reason for this current discordance between the content of the front pages and readers’ interests.– Dr. Ángel Hernando - University of Huelva.

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