Icelandic newspapers in light of Sparks’ model of different types of press

Birgir Guðmundsson


It is generally recognized that diversity and plurality of the media are essential for democracy. In the last decade or so concerns have been raised about the content of the new media suggesting that it is becoming more oriented towards entertainment than democratic discussion. This development has been labelled tabloidization and in scholarly discussion the model of Colin Sparks (2000) has in many ways set the reference point. Not many attempts have been made to put the Icelandic press into this model and the little that has been done is several years old. In this paper a content analysis of the Icelandic newspapers for the years 2008-2010 in view of Sparks´ model is reported. To some extent earlier suggestions and findings about the internal positions of Icelandic newspapers relative to each other are confirmed. However the findings show a high level of similarity between the newspapers and suggest that a process of homogenization is occurring in the Icelandic press.


Media; democracy; newspapers; tabloidization.

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