ERIC Number: ED284238
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Correlation between Readability and Circulation in Regard to the Twenty-Six Daily Newspapers of New Jersey.
A study examined 20 New Jersey daily newspapers to assess the impact of readability on circulation. It was hypothesized that the circulation of a newspaper would be inversely related to the readability level of its contents; that is to say, as reading material becomes harder to read, fewer people will read it. News pieces (divided into hard news, soft news, and local news) for a single random date in 1986 were selected and studied. Wire service news, which is written on a single level and which acted as a control, was eliminated. The Flesch readability formula was applied to 12 articles from each newspaper, 4 from each category, and, to assess the consistency of the Flesch formula, a second readability formula, the Fry Method, was also applied. The hypothesis was not supported. Results indicated no significant relationship between readability level and circulation level. Findings showed that, in general, people do not choose to read a newspaper based on the level of difficulty on which it is written. (Tables of data are included, and appendixes of newspaper circulation data and the Fry Readability Method data are attached, as well as a list of references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: New Jersey; News Stories; Newspaper Circulation; Wire Services
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (70th, San Antonio, TX, August 1-4, 1987).