Paper presented at the refereed research session "Best of the Newspaper Division’s Faculty Research Papers," at AEJMC's annual convention, St. Louis, August 10, 2011.
During 2008-2010, U.S. newspapers covered the “crisis” of their own industry extensively. Such coverage drew attention to the state of the newspaper but also raised questions about whether journalists over-reacted to this market downturn. This study examines how the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the New York Times framed the newspaper crisis. Results show that coverage focused on short-term drama over long-term trends, lacked sufficient context, shifted blame away from newspapers themselves, invoked “death” imagery, and altogether struggled to capture a holistic portrayal of newspapers’ troubles. Implications for self-coverage and business journalism are discussed.