ERIC Number: ED189640
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Comparative Readability of Six Subject Categories in Time/Newsweek Magazines: A Study of Media Acceptability.
Fowler, Gilbert Len, Jr.; Smith, Edward J.
The Flesch readability formula was used to analyze 192 100-word samples from selected matching issues of "Time" and "Newsweek." It was hypothesized that "immediate-reward" types of news, such as sports, social, and human interest events, would be significantly more readable (fewer syllables per 100 words and fewer words per sentence) than "delayed-reward" items, such as public affairs, economics, science, and education news. Items in the sports, cinema, and people/newsmakers sections served as immediate-reward material; and items in the business/economy, national affairs, and science/medicine sections served as delayed-reward material. There were no significant differences between the magazines for either readability scores, average sentence length, or number of syllables. The immediate reward items were significantly more readable than the delayed reward items. Immediate reward items averaged ten fewer syllables per 100 words and two fewer words per sentence than the delayed reward items. An examination of subject-by-subject differences indicated that the delayed/immediate reward classification system may not be sophisticated enough to explain all the differences in readability. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (63rd, Boston, MA, August 9-13, 1980).