Since the beginnings of the 1990s, the meaning of “journalistic quality” has been discussed in communication science. A conceptual agreement is not yet in sight. This theoretical deficiency is one reason why empirical studies on the quality of media content often use so-called quality papers as a benchmark for high journalistic quality. This benchmark itself, however, is hardly ever questioned.
The study raises the question of whether German and Austrian “quality newspapers” in fact provide outstanding journalistic quality. Based on the national press codes – that is, quality criteria defined by the journalists themselves – a comparative quantitative content analysis of the political coverage of German and Austrian so-called quality newspapers from 2005 is conducted.
Melanie Magin, Austrian Academy of Sciences
Josef Seethaler, Austrian Academy of Sciences