So much more than news: Revisiting press epochs from an explorative study of non-news genres in Danish newspapers, 1918–2018

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Published Online: Feb 27, 2024
Page range: 35 - 55
press history, newspapers, audiences, journalism, partisan press
© 2024 Ida Willig et al., published by Sciendo
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Newspapers are so much more than news content. However, the history of journalism is typically told through studies of news genres or news epochs. In this article, we test the theory of three epochs of Danish press history in an explorative study of non-news genres, as exemplified by letters to the editor, editorials, and “celebratory items” on birthdays and deaths. Through an investigation of newspapers from 1918 to 2018, we demonstrate how these non-news forms were established in the first half of the twentieth century, were institutionalised during the period after World War II, and have been transitioning over the past two decades. This confirms the theory of the partisan press epoch, the omnibus press epoch, and the segment press epoch in Danish press history. At the same time, this study expands our understanding of these three press epochs by showing how the non-news genres provided in printed newspapers are important in the construction of readers as a class in the partisan press period; as a population in the omnibus press period; and, most recently, as elites in the segment press period.
TidsskriftN O R D I C O M Review
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)35-55
Antal sider21
StatusUdgivet - 2024


  • Media history
  • newspapers
  • Denmark
  • press epochs

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