Temporal affordances in the news

Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt*, Motti Neiger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This article develops the concept of temporal affordances as a framework for understanding and evaluating the relationship between news technologies and journalistic storytelling practices. Accordingly, temporal affordances are defined as the potential ways in which the time-related possibilities and constraints associated with the material conditions and technological aspects of news production are manifested in the temporal characteristics of news narratives. After identifying six such affordances – immediacy, liveness, preparation time, transience, fixation in time, and extended retrievability – we examine manifestations of temporal affordances in different journalistic cultures over time, based on a content analysis of Israeli and US news narratives in different technological eras (from 1950 to 2013). The findings point to a consistent pattern of inter-media differences, in accordance with the distinct affordances of print and online news, alongside cross-cultural and cross-organizational variations in the use of these affordances. In addition, we detect complex patterns of stability and change in the use of temporal affordances in print media over time. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)37-55
Number of pages19
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017.


  • Media and time
  • affordances
  • print versus online news
  • stability and cange in journalism


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