Journalism

A Better Way to Tell Protest Stories

October 28, 2021

Protest coverage often casts protesters and their causes in a negative light, particularly when covering underrepresented groups. To help journalists frame stories in ways that do not harm these groups,…
A Better Way to Tell Protest Stories

How Local Newsrooms Can Better Connect with Conser...

August 16, 2021

The Center for Media Engagement partnered with Trusting News and 27 local newsrooms to investigate how news organizations can help bridge the divide between the media and American conservative and…
How Local Newsrooms Can Better Connect with Conservative and Right-Leaning Audiences

How to Connect with Disinvested Local News Audienc...

July 7, 2021

The Center for Media Engagement partnered with the Dallas Free Press to explore how Dallas residents perceive local media and how they think that media can better serve their communities.…
How to Connect with Disinvested Local News Audiences
offensive comments

How the Public Views Deletion of Offensive Comment...

June 16, 2021

The Center for Media Engagement teamed up with researchers in three countries to examine how the public perceives comment deletion and the moderators who do it. Read More
How the Public Views Deletion of Offensive Comments
contentious issues

What Americans Know and Don’t Know about Con...

May 20, 2021

We asked adults about a range of hot-button issues to find out how much the American public knows about contentious political issues. Read More
What Americans Know and Don’t Know about Contentious Issues

Journalist Engagement in Facebook Comments: Try Ac...

March 24, 2021

We tested journalist responses to Facebook comments on news stories in order to find out which responses led to more positive perceptions regarding the news outlets and its comment moderation.…
Journalist Engagement in Facebook Comments: Try Acknowledging Commenters’ Emotions

What Americans Know and Don’t Know about Fac...

March 3, 2021

The Center for Media Engagement asked American adults to answer questions about how platforms like Facebook and Google operate. The answers we received revealed important gaps in what the American…
What Americans Know and Don’t Know about Facebook and Google

How to Signal Trust in a Google Search

January 27, 2021

The Center for Media Engagement tested several versions of a Knowledge Panel — a search sidebar that provided information about a news outlet — to see which elements affected trust.…
How to Signal Trust in a Google Search

Civic Signals: The Qualities of Flourishing Digita...

January 12, 2021

Discussions of digital space often focus on eliminating troubling content or improving the user-friendliness of the design. We’re proposing that digital spaces, like the physical spaces we inhabit, should use public-friendly design.…
Civic Signals: The Qualities of Flourishing Digital Spaces

Cable and Nightly Network News Coverage of Coronav...

December 17, 2020

The public frequently turns to television news for updates on the coronavirus pandemic — but not all viewers are getting the same story. Our report shows stark coverage differences across…
Cable and Nightly Network News Coverage of Coronavirus

Coronavirus Coverage in Chicago

December 10, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement examined how Chicago newsrooms covered coronavirus on Facebook. Read More
Coronavirus Coverage in Chicago

News Distrust Among Black Americans is a Fixable P...

November 18, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement asked Black Americans how news organizations can better cover their communities to help bridge the divide between them and the media. Read More
News Distrust Among Black Americans is a Fixable Problem

News Comments: What Happens When They’re Gon...

October 21, 2020

We worked with 24 Gannett-owned newsrooms and Coral by Vox Media to engage in the most ambitious test to-date of what comment sections mean to news sites. Read More
News Comments: What Happens When They’re Gone or When Newsrooms Switch Platforms

Want to Inform People About Registering to Vote? K...

October 1, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement teamed up with the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life to examine how news organizations can best communicate information about how to register to vote.…
Want to Inform People About Registering to Vote? Keep It Simple

Being Compassionate with Yourself May Help Bridge ...

September 17, 2020

Being able to form relationships with people you disagree with or viewing them with compassion is not easy. In this study, the Center for Media Engagement wanted to find out…
Being Compassionate with Yourself May Help Bridge Political Divides

Finding Common Ground: Habits that May Help

August 30, 2020

As politics continue to push Americans further apart, it can be difficult to find common ground. The Center for Media Engagement wanted to see what habits are common in people…
Finding Common Ground: Habits that May Help

Chicago Media Mapping

August 20, 2020

In an analysis of local Chicago news coverage, the Center for Media Engagement found that the media mentioned Chicago’s North / Downtown region more frequently than the West and South…
Chicago Media Mapping

Coronavirus Coverage: The Effects of Headlines and...

August 13, 2020

Coronavirus news can be overwhelming. To determine if newsrooms can help counteract the fatigue, the Center for Media Engagement tested the effects of three types of headlines and two types…
Coronavirus Coverage: The Effects of Headlines and Images on Facebook

Adding Humanizing Details to News Articles Produce...

August 6, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement wanted to know whether adding humanizing details about people when reporting on controversial political issues could help bring readers together across lines of difference and…
Adding Humanizing Details to News Articles Produces Mixed Results
People Who Disagree with You Politically

How to Talk to People Who Disagree with You Politi...

July 30, 2020

How can you communicate with people you disagree with politically? This report reveals five strategies you can use. Read More
How to Talk to People Who Disagree with You Politically

Gaining Trust in TV News

June 30, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement examined how TV news stations can increase trust by including certain elements in a story. Read More
Gaining Trust in TV News

Covering Coronavirus: How Audience Needs are Chang...

May 26, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement took a snapshot of local news’ Facebook posts and public perceptions of local coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and compared it with coverage and public…
Covering Coronavirus: How Audience Needs are Changing and How Newsroom Coverage Compares

Covering Coronavirus: A Snapshot of the Informatio...

April 1, 2020

The Center for Media Engagement took a snapshot of the stories local newspaper and broadcast news outlets posted to Facebook on March 23, 2020. On the same day, we launched…
Covering Coronavirus: A Snapshot of the Information People Want and What Local Newsrooms are Reporting

Reporter Bios Alone Aren’t Enough to Boost T...

February 27, 2020

Providing reporter bios on a news website is a common practice. The Center for Media Engagement has already shown that reporter bios, when used in combination with other trust strategies,…
Reporter Bios Alone Aren’t Enough to Boost Trust

Testing Behind the Story Cards

January 30, 2020

We explored whether the placement of the Behind the Story card on a news organization’s website affects readers’ recall of the card and trust in news. Read More
Testing Behind the Story Cards

Images That Generate Clicks Among Both Liberals an...

December 17, 2019

  The Center for Media Engagement partnered with ProPublica to determine if news story headlines and images can be crafted in ways that appeal to both liberals and conservatives. We…
Images That Generate Clicks Among Both Liberals and Conservatives

Social Media: The Good, The Bad, and How Platforms...

November 7, 2019

As part of the Civic Signals initiative, the Center for Media Engagement is releasing an excerpt from a series of reports aimed at achieving more public-friendly digital spaces. Read More
Social Media: The Good, The Bad, and How Platforms Can Do Better

What People Want to Know About the News

October 31, 2019

Knowing what readers want out of a story – or what they think newsrooms often fail to address – provides an opportunity to increase trust. Read More
What People Want to Know About the News

Story Labels Alone Don’t Increase Trust

October 3, 2019

The Center for Media Engagement wanted to find out if labeling news stories (using labels such as news, analysis, opinion, or sponsored content) increases trust. Read More
Story Labels Alone Don’t Increase Trust

The Keys to Powerful Solutions Journalism

August 22, 2019

  Solutions journalism offers comprehensive coverage of an issue by proposing solutions rather than just focusing on the problem. The Center for Media Engagement set out to determine how certain…
The Keys to Powerful Solutions Journalism

Moderating Uncivil Comments Hurts Trust In News

July 18, 2019

The Center for Media Engagement’s previous research showed that uncivil comments can taint the perception of a news site. Now, we look at how those comments affect the moderators of…
Moderating Uncivil Comments Hurts Trust In News

Clickbait Content May Not Be Click-worthy

May 16, 2019

In today’s highly competitive digital environment, it can be tempting to turn to clickbait news. But covering news that emphasizes outrageous behavior by political leaders might actually backfire. Read More
Clickbait Content May Not Be Click-worthy

Journalism Through Theater: How An Art Form Can In...

March 26, 2019

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…
Journalism Through Theater: How An Art Form Can Inform

Building Trust: What Works for News Organizations

February 26, 2019

The Center for Media Engagement’s new study aims to help news organizations build trust with their audiences. Read More
Building Trust: What Works for News Organizations

Attacks in the Comment Sections: What It Means for...

January 24, 2019

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

How the Public, News Sources, and Journalists Thi...

November 16, 2018

This research project was led by the News Co/Lab at Arizona State University in collaboration with the Center for Media Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. Together, we…
How the Public, News Sources, and Journalists Think about News in Three Communities

Making Strangers Less Strange

November 14, 2018

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…
Making Strangers Less Strange

Using Links to Keep Readers on News Sites

September 26, 2018

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 Read…
Using Links to Keep Readers on News Sites

Subscription Messages

September 5, 2018

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

News Awareness in Fresno, Kansas City, and Macon

August 24, 2018

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…
News Awareness in Fresno, Kansas City, and Macon

Political Coverage on Facebook

June 28, 2018

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. Read More
Political Coverage on Facebook

Women Journalists and Online Harassment

April 10, 2018

After interviewing 75 female professional journalists, researchers found that online harassment is a pressing issue that requires immediate attention. Read More
Women Journalists and Online Harassment

Online Quizzes and Interest in Political News

April 4, 2018

Our researchers found that online political quizzes increase people’s interest in political news and make them feel more knowledgeable about politics. Read More
Online Quizzes and Interest in Political News

A Progress Report: Media Engagement Through Theate...

February 14, 2018

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:…
A Progress Report: Media Engagement Through Theater

Chicago News Landscape

January 10, 2018

The Center for Media Engagement partnered with a local news organization, City Bureau, to explore attitudes towards, and preferences for, Chicago news media. Read More
Chicago News Landscape

Trust in Online News

December 12, 2017

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…
Trust in Online News

Website Redesign

August 3, 2017

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…
Website Redesign

General Election News Coverage: What Engages Audie...

April 6, 2017

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…
General Election News Coverage: What Engages Audiences Down the Ballot

Comment Section Survey Across 20 News Sites

January 12, 2017

We partnered with 20 U.S.-based news organizations to conduct one of the largest-ever surveys of online news commenters. Read More
Comment Section Survey Across 20 News Sites

Mobile News Notifications

October 27, 2016

People who receive mobile news notifications more frequently visit the corresponding news applications. Read More
Mobile News Notifications

Primary Election Coverage: What Types of News Enga...

October 11, 2016

Do audiences engage more with news coverage of campaign strategy or issues? Read More
Primary Election Coverage: What Types of News Engage Audiences

How One Community Responded to Solutions Journalis...

September 20, 2016

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. Read More
How One Community Responded to Solutions Journalism

Journalists and Online Comments

August 30, 2016

By interviewing working journalists, we learned that they do read the comments and respond to commenters. Read More
Journalists and Online Comments

Survey of News Editors and Directors

August 18, 2016

Our survey of news editors and directors offers a glimpse at current newsroom practices. Read More
Survey of News Editors and Directors

Investigating the Influence of “Clickbait...

August 9, 2016

We tested whether headlines written using varying levels of uncertainty prompt different reactions. Read More
Investigating the Influence of “Clickbait” News Headlines

A Digital News Snapshot: An Analysis of 25 of the ...

July 20, 2016

As news habits change, it's important to understand what is available for news audiences across various platforms. Read More
A Digital News Snapshot: An Analysis of 25 of the Top Sites Across Platforms

10 Things We Learned by Analyzing 9 Million Commen...

June 21, 2016

This report describes what we learned from analyzing 9,616,211 comments people posted to The New York Times website. Read More
10 Things We Learned by Analyzing 9 Million Comments from The New York Times

Solutions Headlines

June 2, 2016

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

Solutions Journalism & News Engagement

March 29, 2016

There are benefits to newsrooms using solutions-based journalism, but it is not a cure-all for audience engagement. Read More
Solutions Journalism & News Engagement

Survey of Commenters and Comment Readers

March 14, 2016

We describe the demographic makeup, attitudes, and behaviors of the people who comprise the online commenting world. Read More
Survey of Commenters and Comment Readers

The Current State of News Headlines

December 1, 2015

Headlines are the marquees of news stories. These short statements located at the beginning of an article frame the information that is to follow. They encapsulate a portion of the…
The Current State of News Headlines

Contemporary vs. Classic Design

July 27, 2015

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.…
Contemporary vs. Classic Design

Background Information & Facts

June 10, 2015

People are more willing to get involved in political discussion when they're provided with background information containing pro and con arguments. Read More
Background Information & Facts

How We Use Online Spaces

March 11, 2015

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.…
How We Use Online Spaces

Restructuring Comment Sections

January 30, 2015

There are several benefits - and limits - to using a three-column comment section as opposed to using a traditional one-column section. Read More
Restructuring Comment Sections

New Approaches to Comment Moderation

November 24, 2014

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…
New Approaches to Comment Moderation

Journalist Involvement in Comment Sections

September 10, 2014

Uncivil comments decreased when a journalist interacted with online commenters. Read More
Journalist Involvement in Comment Sections

Improving Civil Discourse

September 10, 2014

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…
Improving Civil Discourse

Solutions Journalism

June 2, 2014

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…
Solutions Journalism

Analysis of News Sites

March 13, 2014

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. Read More
Analysis of News Sites

Hyperlinks

September 18, 2013

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…
Hyperlinks

How Online Quizzes Can Benefit Newsroom Websites

September 18, 2013

Although polls can be engaging for site visitors, there are downsides. Quizzes help news audiences learn more in a fun and engaging way. Read More
How Online Quizzes Can Benefit Newsroom Websites

Social Media Buttons in Comment Sections

September 18, 2013

What if, instead of clicking a “Like” button, one could click “Respect”? Read More
Social Media Buttons in Comment Sections