ERIC Number: ED220835
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-May
Reference Count: 0
Valuation and Presentation Conventions in News Communication: A Formula for Measurement.
Corrigan, Dennis M.
To increase knowledge about the nature of news (particularly its valuation and presentation conventions), to enrich understanding of communication conventions in our society through the study of news communication, and to fashion a tool that can be used to charge and change such conventions, a study examined the content of all news articles appearing on the front pages of four newspapers during one given week. The newspapers included the city editions of the "New York Times," the "Washington Post," the "Minneapolis Tribune," and the Iowa City "Press-Citizen." To determine the presentation conventions in the news leads, stories were read to locate focal emphasis slots regularly used for substantive elements. News content angles appearing in the focal emphasis slot position were categorized to articulate valuation conventions. Simple frequency measurements were made for each news valuation category to generate exploratory data about the nature of the news. Measurement was also given to the times that focal emphasis slots in lead sentences were filled by conventional valuation words or phrases. Findings showed that in 171 of 178 news stories, one or more substantive elements were in an anticipated slot--the first word, the sentence subject, and the last word. The categorization of news angles revealed seven conventional valuations: significance, vitality/conflict, human interest, timeliness, prominence, consequences, and proximity. In the 178 news stories, each with 3 emphatic slots, 334 valuations were found to fit these 7 valuation conventions. In sum, news communication appeared to be a conventional art, in form and content, that can be accurately described from a ritual view. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (Boston, MA, May 2-5, 1982).