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Decisión 2016: Comparative Analysis of Journalistic Role Performance on Spanish- and English-language TV Networks

Hellmueller, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-6609-9395 & Arias, V. S. (2020). Decisión 2016: Comparative Analysis of Journalistic Role Performance on Spanish- and English-language TV Networks. Journalism Practice, 14(4), pp. 447-464. doi: 10.1080/17512786.2019.1625718


This study is one of the first to compare journalistic role performances of English– and Spanish–language TV networks during the 2016 U.S. primaries. Previous research finds that the corporate structure of Spanish–language media in the United States is looking more like its English–language counterparts and that Latino journalists share the norm of objectivity. Meanwhile, research suggests that individuals of different ethnicities turn to different communication channels and that this divergence can be explained by the degree of alignment in linguistic and cultural orientation. In this study, we therefore assess how linguistic differences of TV networks impact journalistic culture during the presidential primaries in 2016. As a crucial component of journalistic culture, we focus on journalistic role performance and find important distinctions: Findings reveal that the greater coverage of presidential candidates as sources on English-language networks have significant consequences for the roles journalists perform. Results suggest that the Spanish–language networks performed significantly more civic journalism roles than their English–language counterparts that perform an interventionist and service role. These differences are discussed alongside different audience-orientation of the networks that reflect deep racial and ethnic divides.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: his is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journalism Practice on 27 Jun 2019, available at:
Publisher Keywords: Hispanic journalism, Spanish–language media, journalistic role performance, presidential election, United States, journalistic culture, comparative analysis
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Journalism
Text - Accepted Version
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