What drives selection of online children's news articles?
16 april 2021
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI CW
SubjectCommunication and Media
Individual news consumers' decisions to select specific news articles online are an important part of the present journalistic landscape, spurring scholars' interest in 'selective exposure' and the factors that influence news selection. In the present study, we investigated predictors of young news consumers' self-selection of individual news articles. We used a dataset containing information on upwards of 18,000 news articles that were published in the smartphone and tablet application of the Dutch children's news television program. The dataset contained the headline of each published news article and the number of views that the article generated in the application. This made it possible to investigate which characteristics of the headlines were predictive of children's selection of the article, that is, number of views. In particular, we investigated the effects of emotion and exemplification on selection. The results showed that anxiety-related information and the use of exemplars significantly increased an article's likelihood of being selected by young news consumers. Information related to anger, sadness and positive affect did not significantly predict selection.
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