Til salgs! Content marketings påvirkning på det journalistiske felt

Didrik Mejlbo Skodje

Student thesis: Master thesis


An increasing amount of media companies in Norway are now offering content marketing to their advertisers. This thesis aims to investigate the ways in which content marketing affects the journalistic field and, furthermore, how this challenges the press’ role as the fourth estate. The concept will first be studied through Jürgen Habermas’s theory regarding the way the press has acquired a central role in today’s society via the power they hold over the channels of communication. Subsequently, through Pierre Bourdieus’s field analysis, the ways content marketing influences the field’s position, structure, agents, and habitus will be considered. The thesis uses Aftenposten Brand Studio and VG Partnerstudio as examples of the press to analyse how content marketing affects the journalistic field. Finally, the key findings will be presented.
The effects of content marketing on the journalistic field
The economic downturn in the media business had a large effect on the journalistic field. The increased commerciality of the media business has made the field’s autonomy dependent on the economy of the media company’s economy. Therefore, in order to gain a competitive advantage and to secure the agent’s position, multiple media houses have started offering content marketing. By doing this, the mediums have opened up for the possibility of buying reviews presented through journalistic tools. The power of the press regarding the communication channels has consequently been weakened. The field’s doxa has accordingly been changed in order to maintain the separation from the economic field, to secure journalistic legitimacy, as well as to preserve the press’s role as the fourth estate. This has all been necessary as the journalistic field can only uphold its legitimacy if it is recognized as trustworthy. The labelling of editorial and commercial content is therefore the only visible distinction between journalism and commercial content. At the same time, one can observe that the mediums attempt to challenge the established doxa. This defiance is a result of the way content marketing loses its advantage if it does not come across as editorial content. This leads to two simultaneous movements; while there is a desire to secure the field’s legitimacy and the press’ role as the fourth estate, the field’s own agents are constantly challenging the limitations. The latter’s defiance is a consequence of the wish for an advantage over other agents in the field, and thus securing their own position. Conclusively, one can say that content marketing has had an immense effect upon the journalistic field’s doxa and habitus.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages77
SupervisorsAnders Bordum