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Studies that include different news organizations and countries are especially complex because comparative research involves elements that influence the configuration of journalistic cultures. These have varying levels of impact on news production and content depending on specific socio-political contexts and the media platform, the medium’s political orientation, and its reach, among other factors. Indeed, it can be assumed that role performance variations can be explained by a number of factors that can be measured, explored, and compared at both the organizational and societal levels.


Organizational-level variables


In our study, the following organizational-level variables were measured. Each pertains to the characteristics of the specific news outlets and organizations that the journalists worked for: 

-    Media platform

-    Media ownership 

-    Chain structure 

-    The presence of codified editorial rules in the newsroom 

-    Newsroom convergence

-    Media political orientation

-    Media political alignment 

-    Presence of media editorial statement 

-    Media outlet size 

-    Media audience orientation (only measured for print media)

-    Digital type (only measured for online media) 



Societal-level Measures


At the media system level, the following measures were included: 


-    Freedom House Global Freedom Score/Freedom Status

             o    Freedom House Political Rights

             o    Freedom House Civil Liberties

-    Heritage Foundation Economic Freedom Index

-    ITU Internet Penetration

-    RSF Press Freedom index Score/Rank 

-    Transparency International Corruption Perception Index Score/Rank 

-    V-DEM Electoral democracy index

-    V-DEM Liberal democracy index

-    V-DEM Participatory democracy index

-    V-DEM Deliberative democracy index

-    V-DEM Egalitarian democracy index

-    V-DEM Religious organization repression

-    V-DEM Harassment of journalists

-    V-DEM Clientelism index

-    V-DEM Internet censorship effort

-    Gini coefficient

-    Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita

-    Hofstede Power Distance Index

-    Hofstede Individualism Index

-    EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit) Democracy Index


Covid-19 measures


Since the data collection for the project happened to coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic, the following COVID-related variables were added to the content data file:


- New COVID cases

- Cumulative COVID cases

- New COVID deaths

- Cumulative COVID deaths

- Excess deaths

- Oxford University COVID-19 Government Response Tracker Containment and Health Index

- Oxford University COVID-19 Government Response Tracker Government Support Index 

- V-Dem Pandemic Violations of Democratic Standards

- V-Dem Pandemic Backsliding Index


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