Date of Award

December 2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Media Studies

First Advisor

David Allen

Committee Members

Richard Popp, Lia Wolock


fact checking, front pages, journalism, newspaper, reporters


This thesis investigates influences on the selection of stories on the front pages of newspapers. It investigates whether a daily newspaper that has an in-house, fact-checking unit (The Milwaukee (WI) Journal Sentinel) selects front-page stories differently from a newspaper that does not have an in-house, fact-checking unit (The Star Tribune in Minneapolis, MN). While the study found no direct influence of fact-checking journalism, it did find that newspaper front pages in 2014 were increasingly prioritizing contextual stories over conventional stories. It also found a decline in political/governmental stories on front pages. It is suggested that these changes might signal a changing role for newspaper journalism within society, shifting away from the delivery of information and putting more emphasis on the analysis of information.