ERIC Number: ED284235
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Predicting Newspaper Readership from Content Characteristics: A Replication.
McCombs, Maxwell E.; And Others
Noting that the decline in adult newspaper readership does not match the growth in the number of educated adults, a study queried (1) Which characteristics of news items most strongly predict readership levels? and (2) Is there any difference in the best set of predictors for the different age groups (older than and younger than 35)? A readership survey of the November 1, 1985 issue of the Richmond (Virginia) "News Leader" was combined with a content analysis of that issue. In the survey, the 514 respondents indicated whether they had read or noticed each of the 203 items in that issue of the newspaper. The subsequent content analysis of the issue classified each of the news items on 15 content dimensions. The results of the multiple regression analysis indicated that the front page of a section is the key variable in predicting readership for all news items in the paper for both age groups. Other key predictors of readership were topic, source of story, total space, upper half of the page placement, and page number placement. (Notes, references, and tables of data are included.) (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Readership Analysis
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (70th, San Antonio, TX, August 1-4, 1987).