Effects of the 2008 Crisis on Agenda Building: Internally Originated Content Versus External Dependence Articles uri icon



publication date

  • January 2022

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 18

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1751-2786

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1751-2794


  • This article analyses news media agenda building before, during and after 2008, when the global financial crisis converged with the rise of the Internet, leading to a worldwide failure of the media business model. In particular, the current research examines and quantifies the origin of the news stories included in the media agenda to observe its degree of dependence on external sources. In this regard, the study observes the front pages of three major Spanish newspapers - El PaĆ­s, ABC and El Mundo - over three years: 1998, 2008, and 2018. The findings reveal that the economic recession and the increasingly digital environment due to the spread of the Internet had a perverse effect on the construction of the media agenda. The volume of internally originated contents of public interest decreased, while there was an increase in contents emanating from diverse external sources - especially political and governmental - that attend to their own particular interests. This rising external dependence, which may be extrapolated to other countries or media (digital, television and radio), leads to media's loss of control of their own agenda, favours the prevalence of desktop or passive journalism, and finally affects the necessary surveillance of power by the media.