ERIC Number: ED349545
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Mapping: Organizing News Stories for Improved Readability. Does It Work?
A study investigated college students' reactions to a news story written in the traditional "inverted pyramid" format and the same story rearranged into a "mapped" format (where similar information is gathered under heads and subheads). Seventy students were given the story in either the "mapped" or the traditional format; 64 students in a different class read both stories; and students in a 10-person focus group also read both stories. Subjects completed surveys concerning readability and format preference. Results indicated that: (1) 72% of the subjects said the mapped story was easier to read; (2) 63% said subheads were helpful; (3) 70% said they would choose the mapped format for their news; (4) 71% of students who identified television or radio as their main source of news said the mapped story was easier to read; (5) 67% of students who identified newspapers or news magazines as their main source of news said the mapped story was easier to read; (6) students did not remember significantly more information from one format or the other; and (7) there was no significant difference in the number of paragraphs completed by students who read one format or the other. (Three tables of data are included; both versions of the news story are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Mapping; Text Factors
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (75th, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 5-8, 1992).