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Reclassifying Soft and Hard News Culture Specific Findings or a Reflection of Gender?
Unformatted Document Text:  test analyses were used to examine the significance between the averages of two population groups, multi-variable analysis (logistic regression analysis) and discriminate analysis. 7 As this study is descriptive in nature and based on empirical data, no use was made of the terminology of quantitative studies or causal arguments. Findings The findings emerging from the present study are strangely inconsistent. On one hand, in the survey and interviews, male editors acknowledge the significance attributed to stories from “soft” news topics and to the coverage technique which characterize “soft” news. In other words, survey findings point to an erosion of boundaries of the traditional equations of men=”hard news” and women=”soft news”. The content analysis, however, indicates support for the traditional version of these equations (Table 1.1) and reveals that men give preference to “hard” topics while women are more inclined to include topics and items which are identified with “soft” news. The content analysis of the programs sample, on its part, indicates a clear monotonic growth of “soft” topics at the expense of “hard” topics, over the entire decade during which programs were sampled. Table 1.1 ³ Hard”-“Soft” – Inverse Trends in Survey and In-depth Interview findings Gender of editors Survey data Media product Female ³ hard” ³ soft” Male ³ soft” ³ hard” Discussion and Conclusions What Editors Say and What Editors Do? The guiding assumptions of the contemporary media industry provide convenient starting point for the discussion of the discrepancy discovered between the results of the surveys and in-depth interviews (which may initials indications of a new trend of men = “soft” and women=”hard”) and the results of the analysis of media products (which reflect the traditional men=”hard” topics and women=”soft” topics). Whereas perceptions of professionals unexpectedly reverse the traditional formula, content 7 Statistical data is available upon request.

Authors: Lavie, Aliza.
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test analyses were used to examine the significance between the averages of two
population groups, multi-variable analysis (logistic regression analysis) and
discriminate analysis.
7
As this study is descriptive in nature and based on empirical
data, no use was made of the terminology of quantitative studies or causal arguments.
Findings
The findings emerging from the present study are strangely inconsistent. On one hand,
in the survey and interviews, male editors acknowledge the significance attributed to
stories from “soft” news topics and to the coverage technique which characterize
“soft” news. In other words, survey findings point to an erosion of boundaries of the
traditional equations of men=”hard news” and women=”soft news”. The content
analysis, however, indicates support for the traditional version of these equations
(Table 1.1) and reveals that men give preference to “hard” topics while women are
more inclined to include topics and items which are identified with “soft” news. The
content analysis of the programs sample, on its part, indicates a clear monotonic
growth of “soft” topics at the expense of “hard” topics, over the entire decade during
which programs were sampled.
Table 1.1
³ Hard”-“Soft” – Inverse Trends in Survey and In-depth Interview findings
Gender of editors
Survey data
Media product
Female
³ hard”
³ soft”
Male
³ soft”
³ hard”
Discussion and Conclusions
What Editors Say and What Editors Do?
The guiding assumptions of the contemporary media industry provide convenient
starting point for the discussion of the discrepancy discovered between the results of
the surveys and in-depth interviews (which may initials indications of a new trend of
men = “soft” and women=”hard”) and the results of the analysis of media products
(which reflect the traditional men=”hard” topics and women=”soft” topics). Whereas
perceptions of professionals unexpectedly reverse the traditional formula, content
7
Statistical data is available upon request.


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