Understanding Journalism Through a Nuanced Deconstruction of Temporal Layers in News Narratives

Motti Neiger*, Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


This article proposes a nuanced analysis of the temporal spectrum in news narratives, beyond the three conventional temporal orientations (past-present-future), thus affording a more complex understanding of journalism and its varied storytelling patterns. Combining qualitative and quantitative content analysis of print and online news items in the United States and Israel, this framework is used to evaluate and compare different journalistic cultures and media technologies in relation to public time. Based on hierarchical cluster analysis, the article offers a definition for "news" which associates between 5 clusters of temporal layers and different journalistic roles: updating (present and immediate past/future), reporting (recent past), contextualization and ritualistic functions (midrange to distant past), analysis (near future), and projection (far/conjectured future).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)139-160
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 International Communication Association.


  • Journalistic cultures
  • Media and time
  • News definition
  • News narratives
  • Print versus online media


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