ERIC Number: ED274012
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
Learning from Television News: How Important Are Story Attributes?
Davis, Dennis K.; Robinson, John P.
Two news audience surveys were conducted--one in Great Britain with 489 subjects and one in the United States with 447 subjects--to assess the ability of various types of television news stories to induce learning. The central objective of the research was to identify attributes of specific news stories that had been well or poorly comprehended. For the dependent variable, an average comprehension score for each story was derived from interviews with respondents who had viewed specific broadcasts. Independent variables were measured by conducting a content analysis of each story using a coding scheme proposed by W. Schulz in 1976. Results of the study indicated that length and placement of stories did not significantly affect comprehension. However, the variables involving time with the newsreader on camera and human interest significantly correlated with comprehension. Two visual factors were linked to increased comprehension: amount of visual content and uniqueness of visual content. Attractive, unique pictures that arouse positive emotions and are congruent with verbal content aid comprehension; however, vivid, routine pictures that arouse negative emotions and are incongruent with verbal content may impede learning. Pictures may be used more often with human interest stories because good pictures are usually available. The findings of this research indicate the need to put good pictures into hard news stories in order to facilitate comprehension. Otherwise, good pictures may overwhelm important verbal information in the competition for viewer attention and information processing. (Three pages of references and tables of data are appended.) (SRT)
Descriptors: Broadcast Television, Communication Research, Foreign Countries, Information Processing, Learning Experience, Learning Modalities, Learning Processes, Mass Media, Mass Media Effects, News Media, News Reporting, Pictorial Stimuli, Recall (Psychology), Retention (Psychology), Television Research
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Great Britain)