Three newspapers –three ways to cover the Ageing Society?

Tabloids are sensational, quality newspapers boring –at least that is the cliche. Far away from these stereotypes, this project examines how Swiss representatives of the different newspaper types cover the Ageing Society.

Media research defines a number of characteristics for each of the three newspaper types in this project, i.e. tabloids, quality newspapers and free newspapers. For instance, tabloids typically report on ‘soft news’ (e.g. human-interest and entertainment) and use attention-provoking headlines. Quality newspapers, by contrast, report to a greater extent on ‘hard news’ (e.g. politics, international relationships, economy) in a more formal language. Free newspapers may more often rely on agency reports, because they usually have a smaller team of own journalists.

But how different is the content of these three newspaper types really, when it comes to the coverage of the Ageing Society? Do the various newspapers indeed use the style, frames or language one would typically expect them to use? For instance, does the tabloid Blick use a more attention-gathering style or chose more human-interest topics related to the Ageing Society? Does the quality newspaper NZZ offer self-researched coverage on the issue? And to what extent is the Ageing Society-reporting of the free newspaper 20 Minuten indeed relying on agency reports with little additional information from the own journalists?

This research project aims to shed light on these questions. We will hence compare how NZZ, Blick and 20 Minuten cover the Ageing Society, and show to what extent their content echoes the typical characteristics of the respective newspaper types.