CME researchers are presenting on a variety of topics. Find one that interests you and check it out!
5/24 Friday Pre-Conference
Principles for Elevating Engaged Journalism on Social Media: Results from Practitioner and Scholar Interviews
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
Talia Stroud & Tamar Wilner
How Should Journalism Academics and Practitioners Work Together
News Images and Clicking on Subscription Appeals
12:30 PM-1:45 PM
Jessica Collier, Yujin Kim, Talia Stroud
International Terrace (Interactive Posters) (Washington Hilton, Terrace Level)
The newspaper industry’s business model relies increasingly on subscriptions as a means of revenue. Little scholarly research has examined what characteristics of subscription appeals make them more or less successful. The present study examines the role of images in news subscription appeals, drawing from prior research on the efficacy of images in news as well as images’ effect in advertising. In 10 tests with three newsroom partners, we experimentally manipulate the type of image used in the subscription appeal. Across the tests, we vary the call to action (newsletter signups or paid access), and the medium used for each campaign (Facebook sponsored posts or direct email). Results show that images of journalists doing their work or images of natural disasters covered by the news organization are consistently more effective than logos at generating subscriptions. Implications of this study exist for our understanding of the effects of visuals, for news organizations attempting to garner subscribers, and for researchers interested in conducting real-world experiments via Facebook or email.
Outrage Coverage, News Credibility, and Digital Engagement
11:00 AM-12:15 PM
Ashley Muddiman, Joshua Scacco
Morgan (Washington Hilton, Lobby Level)
Understanding how individuals form judgments from news portrayals has taken on added urgency in a cluttered media ecosystem. News outlets continue to experiment with novel practices of information framing and dissemination without evidence to suggest that such experimentation helps audiences or newsrooms. For instance, although a variety of news outlets use clickbait-styled headlines that are designed to get audiences to engage with news content, research has found pronounced backfire effects on subsequent engagement. In this vein, we investigate clickbait-based practices that integrate outrage into the news to determine whether such practices have deleterious effects on perceptions of news outlet credibility, views on public debate, and engagement with digital news. We test whether the inclusion of outrage in the headline, article, or a combination of both headline and article influence each of these outcomes.
Journalistic Transparency’s Effects on Credibility Assessments and Engagement Intentions
8:00 AM-9:15 AM
Alex Curry, Talia Stroud
Columbia 10 (Washington Hilton, Terrace Level)
Transparency is an oft-cited remedy for the public’s lack of confidence in the news media. Yet, scant empirical evidence exists to support this claim. This paper presents a test of the relationship between increased journalistic transparency and credibility evaluations of a news organization. Experimental results suggest that increasing transparency (by providing news consumers with information about why and how a story was written, details about the story’s author, etc.) leads to an increase in credibility evaluations and intentions to engage with news. These results hold across the three different article topics used in our experiment and regardless of the participants’ political ideology. Implications for news organizations and contributions to theory are discussed
Gain and Loss Frames in News Subscription Appeals
11:00 AM-2:15 PM
Yujin Kim, Jessica Collier, Talia Stroud
DuPont (Washington Hilton, Terrace Level)
Subscriptions have become a crucial part of newsrooms’ business models as the industry has experienced sharp declines in advertising revenue. To date, research has not examined what messages affect news subscription decisions. The current study investigates the effectiveness of gain- and loss-framed messages, building on relevant literature connected to prospect theory. In collaboration with three newsrooms, we conducted 11 experiments with 222,385 users varying whether the message was gain-framed, loss-framed, or neither. Across the 11 tests, we also varied the call to action (subscription to newsrooms’ newsletter or paid access) and the medium used to distribute the subscription appeal (via Facebook-sponsored posts or direct email). Results illustrate that loss-framed messages yielded fewer clicks on subscription appeals compared to both gain and control messages, although gain messages did not always outperform control messages.
Organizational Support for Science Communication: A Survey of Scientific Societies
9:30 AM-10:45 AM
International Ballroom – Center (Washington Hilton, Concourse Level)
Scientific Societies play an important role in scientists’ career. Meanwhile, many societies have considered public engagement as part of their missions. The current study investigated the views and support for public engagement from scientific societies via a survey with society administrators. The results showed that the majority of societies values public engagement highly and engage in science communication via various methods. The study also underscored the prioritized objectives societies try to achieve and the supports they provide for member scientists. The findings shed the light on the role of scientific societies in science communication overlooked previously, and provide insights for society key actors, scientists as well as science communication researchers on how to better provide guides and support for effective science communication.
Going Against the Flow: How Incivility Influences Comment Moderators
11:00 AM-12:15 PM
Martin J. Riedl, Gina Masullo Chen, Kelsey Whipple
Lincoln East (Washington Hilton, Concourse Level)
Online news comments are often marred by incivility. News outlets seek to keep hate at bay, through different strategies of comment moderation, such as algorithmic or human moderation and flagging. This research investigates the digital labor of comment moderators through the lens of flow theory – which proposes an immersive work experience. We show how moderation of only uncivil comments leads to lower intensity of flow, lower task satisfaction, and greater emotional exhaustion. Beyond individual effects, moderating uncivil comments can also negatively impact the moderators’ perceptions of the credibility of the news organization for which they assume they are working.
The Gender Gap in Online News Comment Sections
3:30 PM-4:45 PM
Emily Van Duyn, Cynthia Peacock, Talia Stroud
Jefferson West (Washington Hilton, Concourse Level)
Women are less likely than men to discuss politics or engage in state or national politics. This study extends research on the gender gap in politics to the online context by exploring whether women are less likely to engage in political discussion online, whether this follows socialization theories of a private versus public sphere distinction, and whether perceptions of incivility help explain these gender differences. Through a nationally representative survey of commenters and comment readers (N=965) and a survey of actual commenters and comment readers across 20 news sites (N=12,110), we find that women are less likely than men to comment online, particularly on state or national topics. We also find that perceptions of incivility may play a role in women’s decision to comment. Our results suggest that efforts to democratize political discussion online would do well to consider women’s political socialization in addition to the civility of the site.