Journalism Through Theater: How An Art Form Can Inform

In our latest research, the Center for Media Engagement (CME) partnered with The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) and StoryWorks to examine how theater and journalism can be combined to create a powerful message.

Building Trust: What Works for News Organizations

The Center for Media Engagement’s new study aims to help news organizations build trust with their audiences.

Attacks in the Comment Sections: What It Means for News Sites

In a new study, the Center for Media Engagement looked at how uncivil comments affect perceptions of a news site and ways journalists can address the problem.

How the Public, News Sources, and Journalists Think about News in Three Communities

This research project was led by the News Co/Lab at Arizona State University in collaboration with the Center for Media … Read more

Making Strangers Less Strange

In the aftermath of the 2018 midterm elections, it is clear that our country is divided. This report reviews best practices from academics and journalists on how to bring diverse groups together.

Using Links to Keep Readers on News Sites

Our research finds that audiences are more likely to click on links that use images in their layout, appear at the end of a page and reflect related content

Subscription Messages

With funding from the American Press Institute, CME researchers tested different engagement methods aimed at prompting new subscribers in three different newsrooms.

News Awareness in Fresno, Kansas City, and Macon

Our researchers surveyed 4,584 people in three U.S. news markets and found that people generally read national news more, but they perceived local news somewhat more favorably. Nearly 90% felt at least somewhat confident they could spot “fake news,” but less than three-quarters of the people could correctly select fake headlines.

Why We Really Need to Stop Saying Fake News

Exposure to the phrase “fake news” might matter more than exposure to fake news itself.

Political Coverage on Facebook

With the help of a national newsroom, we conducted 118 experiments on Facebook to test the success of different headlines, images, and status updates on Facebook.

Women Journalists and Online Harassment

After interviewing 75 female professional journalists, researchers found that online harassment is a pressing issue that requires immediate attention.

Online Quizzes and Interest in Political News

Our researchers found that online political quizzes increase people’s interest in political news and make them feel more knowledgeable about politics.

A Progress Report: Media Engagement Through Theater

In partnership with The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), we are analyzing how attitudes change based on seeing a play. This is a progress report on our first effort. (photo: Leah Mahan)

Chicago News Landscape

With the help of City Bureau, our researchers analyzed what people in Chicago think about the news media and how it varies depending on where people live.

Trust in Online News

The inclusion of Trust Indicators can result in higher opinions about the news organizations and journalists that use them, according to the Center for Media Engagement’s research with the Trust Project.

Website Redesign

Redesigning a website’s homepage could improve page views and time on page, according to a CME study that was conducted in conjunction with the launch of two news organizations’ redesigned homepages.

A Survey of Snapchat Users: Media, Politics, & the 2016 Election

In the weeks leading up to the 2016 election, we surveyed Snapchat users about their use of the app, specifically for news and politics.

Engaging News about Congress: Report from a News Engagement Workshop

The Center for Media Engagement with the Agora Journalism Center at the University of Oregon partnered to host a regional news engagement workshop focused on engagement and political coverage.

General Election News Coverage: What Engages Audiences Down the Ballot

In the run-up to the 2016 general election, local news outlets focused less and less on coverage of issues, with coverage of corruption and scandal receiving more page views and social referrals.

Comment Section Survey Across 20 News Sites

We partnered with 20 U.S.-based news organizations to conduct one of the largest-ever surveys of online news commenters.

Social Media Summit

CME recently hosted their first Social Media Summit, a day-long gathering to discuss experiences, benefits, and challenges of using social media.

Mobile News Notifications

People who receive mobile news notifications more frequently visit the corresponding news applications.

Primary Election Coverage: What Types of News Engage Audiences

Do audiences engage more with news coverage of campaign strategy or issues?

How One Community Responded to Solutions Journalism

In response to a newspaper series on the issue of poverty, the public tweeted more about poverty. The discussion, however, lasted only a short period.

Journalists and Online Comments

By interviewing working journalists, we learned that they do read the comments and respond to commenters.

Survey of News Editors and Directors

Our survey of news editors and directors offers a glimpse at current newsroom practices.

Investigating the Influence of “Clickbait” News Headlines

We tested whether headlines written using varying levels of uncertainty prompt different reactions.

A Digital News Snapshot: An Analysis of 25 of the Top Sites Across Platforms

As news habits change, it’s important to understand what is available for news audiences across various platforms.

10 Things We Learned by Analyzing 9 Million Comments from The New York Times

This report describes what we learned from analyzing 9,616,211 comments people posted to The New York Times website.

News Tools Workshop

For our latest workshop, participants shared their experiences with using tools and brainstormed new tools

Solutions Headlines

Solutions-oriented headlines yield a modest increase in clicks over non-solutions headlines, but other factors may also affect clicks.

Solutions Journalism & News Engagement

There are benefits to newsrooms using solutions-based journalism, but it is not a cure-all for audience engagement.

Survey of Commenters and Comment Readers

We describe the demographic makeup, attitudes, and behaviors of the people who comprise the online commenting world.

Contemporary vs. Classic Design

There is a significant increase in page views and learning from articles when people browse a news website with a contemporary design compared to one with a classic, newsprint-style layout.

Background Information & Facts

People are more willing to get involved in political discussion when they’re provided with background information containing pro and con arguments.

How We Use Online Spaces

Through six focus groups, we learned that people prefer in-person discussions about politics rather than those that take place online, and are concerned that political discussion might lead to conflict.

Restructuring Comment Sections

There are several benefits – and limits – to using a three-column comment section as opposed to using a traditional one-column section.

News Engagement Workshop – Princeton

For its second News Engagement Workshop, the Center for Media Engagement brought together 11 digital news leaders to share ideas for improving online news.

New Approaches to Comment Moderation

For three months, we attempted to code for incivility within online news comments in new ways. In this progress report, we share thoughts on what worked, what didn’t, and what research can be done next.

Journalist Involvement in Comment Sections

Uncivil comments decreased when a journalist interacted with online commenters.

Improving Civil Discourse

We have partnered with the National Institute for Civil Discourse to research how to improve online discourse. We began by reviewing academic research on creating civil online spaces. In the coming months, we will conduct a series of focus groups to understand people’s thoughts about discussing politics online.

Solutions Journalism

We found that solutions-based reporting may be an effective journalistic tool that serves the needs of both audiences and news organizations, and that it has the potential to increase reader engagement.

News Engagement Workshop – Austin

Ten digital news innovators came together to visit about current practices and future possibilities at the Center for Media Engagement’s first News Engagement Workshop.

Analysis of News Sites

We examined 155 U.S. newspaper and television news websites to understand how they were using social media buttons, comment sections, online polls, lists of hyperlinks, and mobile version.


Can hyperlinks be presented on a page in a way that prompts additional news use, as opposed to entertainment stories? And can hyperlinks be presented on a page in ways that encourage visitors to view editorial content from different political perspectives?

Online Polls vs. Quizzes

Although polls can be engaging for site visitors, there are downsides. Quizzes help news audiences learn more in a fun and engaging way.

Engagement Buttons

What if, instead of clicking a “Like” button, one could click “Respect”?