ERIC Number: ED222914
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Oct-27
Reference Count: 0
The Public and Local News [and] Why Some Editorial Endorsements are More Persuasive Than Others. American Newspaper Publishers Association (ANPA) News Research Report No. 37.
Winter, James P.; And Others
Two unrelated studies investigated issues in newspaper journalism. The first, a replication of an earlier study, examined whether the priority given by newspapers to reporting local news was warranted. Respondents in three areas of the country were asked to rate their interest in various types of news on a five-point scale. Results indicated that interest in local news was highest in two of the three sites, that respondents defined the geographical area of local news quite broadly, and that news topic was more important than geographical proximity in determining interest. The second study used a model of persuasion theory to examine the effect of editorial endorsements in the 1976 presidential election and 13 local contests. Major findings show that (1) if readers have already decided, endorsements tend to reinforce their views and may even reinforce views opposite those of the endorsement; (2) more educated readers are more likely to be aware of and influenced by an endorsement; and (3) the persuasiveness of editorials is also affected by the circulation and reputation of the newspaper, the clarity of the endorsement, and the support of opposition in the environment. In light of these findings, editors should consider a variety of factors, including the demographic identity of their readers, their own reputations, possible negative effects of endorsements, and the need for maintaining an editorial reputation for clarity and agreeableness. (JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Newspaper Publishers Association, Washington, DC.