Quality Attributes for Press Articles and Habermas' Theory of Communicative Action

Patrick-Yves Badillo, Dominique Bourgeois, Jean Baptiste Lesourd, Steven Schilizzi


The results reported in this paper are part of a broader research aiming at studying the relationship between (perceived) quality and (economic) value of information. To do so, one must be able to measure information quality (IQ). We report an empirical study with 106 University students to test an IQ-measurement system using articles of the periodical written (or internet) press. The first step consists in identifying IQ criteria by which these articles can be assessed. The solution is to endogenously generate the criteria that subjects can then use for IQ assessment. The results revealed four families of such criteria, which, it turned out, corresponded very closely to Habermas' four criteria of Communicative Action. In addition, the perceived hierarchy between the first criterion (intelligibility), which was cited by practically all respondents, and the other three criteria reflected Habermas' theory, in which intelligibility is regarded as a prerequisite to any communicative action. T he paper thus provides, first, a procedure for generating a consistent measurement of IQ applied to the written press and, second, establishes that Habermas' Theory of Communicative Action constitutes an appropriate framework for interpreting the empirical results.


information quality; Habermas; Theory of Communicative Action; measuring information quality; written press

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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896