How sensationalist features affect television news preferences and recognition among young viewers
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Number of pages
SourcePoetics, 63, (2017), pp. 1-10
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectCommunication and Media; Inequality, cohesion and modernization; Ongelijkheid, cohesie en modernisering
This study investigates whether including sensationalist features in news stories is an appropriate strategy for news organizations to both attract and inform young adults. An experiment was conducted to examine whether content (negative versus neutral) and packaging (tabloid versus non-tabloid) of television news stories influenced preferences for and recognition of these stories among young viewers (16-21 years old), varying in educational level. Results showed that the use of sensationalist news features might indeed help news producers to attract young viewers to news. However, this holds for content but not for packaging. In addition, negative content improved recognition, but only among higher educated young viewers.
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