The influence of sensationalist features in television news stories on perceived news quality and perceived sensationalism of viewers in different age groups
This study investigates whether the decreased trust in news media can be explained by the increase in sensationalism in news. To this end, an experiment was conducted in which viewers (N = 288) evaluated sensationalist versus non-sensationalist television news in terms of perceived news quality and perceived sensationalism. Each participant watched four television news stories that varied in the presence of two categories of sensationalism: arousing content and tabloid packaging. Findings showed that sensationalist television news tends to be more negatively evaluated than non-sensationalist news. In addition, critical views on arousing content appeared to be particularly visible among young and middle-aged adults. These findings suggest that the rise of sensationalist news could be an explanation of the declining trust in news media that is witnessed in a number of countries.
Copyright (c) 2018 Mariska Kleemans, Paul G. J. Hendriks, Johannes W. J. Beentjes, Rob Eisinga
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
The electronic contributions in the Internet are distributed under the "Creative Commons Attribution – NonCommercial – NoDerivatives 4.0 International" - License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This license allows others to share the work in any medium or format with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in [name of journal]. However, the work may not be altered or transformed and it may not be used for commercial purposes. These conditions are irrevocable. The full text of the license may be read under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/deed.en