Self-coverage for public interest or self-promotion: How media cross-ownership structures affect news content in South Korea

Na Yeon Lee, Kanghui Baek, Jung Kun Pae, Sun Ho Jeong, Nakwon Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The growing phenomenon of cross-ownership by media conglomerates and the influence of that phenomenon on news content continues to receive considerable attention internationally. Such cross-ownership of media has triggered discussions about whether media firms prioritize their own business interests through self-promotion. In the context of South Korea where the three main newspapers are permitted by the government to cross-own cable TV network subsidiaries, this study looks at whether and to what extent self-coverage is done with the intent of self-promotion. Specifically, this study examined 1362 news articles about issues related to self-coverage published in five of South Korea’s major newspapers – three with cable TV networks and, for purposes of comparison, two without. Content analysis showed that the three newspapers that cross-own cable TV networks were more likely than their competitors to cover more frequently as well as more positively news about their primary shareholders along with news about programs broadcast by their own subsidiary cable TV networks. These results may suggest that self-coverage by newspaper companies in South Korea tend to favor their own private interests at levels higher than news of public interest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2025-2043
Number of pages19
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Sungshin University Research Grant of 2017.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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