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Higher Ed in the News

Higher ed coverage by press has changed dramatically

September 24, 2010

In the last half century, newspapers have grown less interested in universities and more interested in their researchers, according to a new study.

A team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign analyzed 60 years’ worth of The New York Times archives in an attempt to find out how its coverage of research universities has evolved since World War II. The researchers found that the proportion of articles focusing on particular institutions has declined significantly, while the share of articles on non-university topics that contain “sound bites” from university researchers has risen.

The new way in which reporters tend to regard research universities -- as stables of experts rather than as hotspots for news -- suggests “a need for universities to profoundly change the ways in which they interact with the press," researchers Paul J. Magelli and Kaley H. Leetaru write.

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