ERIC Number: ED176260
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Public Interest in Foreign News.
Sparkes, Vernone M.; Winter, James P.
The categories of news flow research and the objectives of readership studies were combined in a pilot field experiment in audience reaction to and interest in foreign news. Using both projective and behavioral measures, the study explored media use patterns and story preferences. In particular, it investigated the effect on reader interest of manipulation of story treatment. Treatments used were "conflict,""impact,""affinity," and "personification." Significant differences in interest scores for stories across treatment were found. In addition, these differences were in the direction that news flow research would predict, with violence having the highest interest score. However, the conflict treatment manipulation did not result in interest scores comparable to those for violent subject, suggesting that the observed journalistic tendency to emphasize the negative aspects of events is not consistent with public interests and selection. The findings suggest that if journalists wish to enhance a foreign news item that might not otherwise attract interest, they should emphasize the home country angle ("impact" or "affinity") rather than the negative or conflict dimensions. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (62nd, Houston, Texas, August 5-8, 1979)