*Moniza Waheed & Lea Hellmueller
Journalism is a vital part of public opinion formation in democratic countries. While ample studies exist in developed nations such as the United States, not much is known on developing nations such as Malaysia. Therefore, this study aims to compare the extent to which the normative models of journalism materialise in news reports from the United States and Malaysia. Using the six normative models of journalism (watchdog, loyal facilitator, interventionist, service, civic, and infotainment) as a theoretical framework, a quantitative content analysis of elite and popular newspapers from the United States and Malaysia was conducted. Results from our analyses show that the watchdog, interventionist, and civic models were more present in the U.S. newspapers compared to the Malaysian newspapers. On the other hand, the loyal facilitator and the service models were more present in the Malaysian newspapers compared to those from the United States. Consistent predictors for the normative models of journalism were the newspapers’ country of origin, the number of years that a newspaper has been in existence, and the newspapers’ circulation numbers. In essence, the normative models of journalism were present in both the United States and Malaysia, but to different extents.
Keywords: journalism normative models, newspapers, content analysis, United States, Malaysia