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ARTICLE: Sensationalism in online news publications

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Danielle K Kilgo, of University of Texas, Summer Harlow, of Florida State University, Víctor García-Perdomo, of University of Texas, and Ramón Salaverría, of University of Navarra examine how sensationalism impacts social sharing.

The study is based on analysis of 400 articles from online news organizations across the Americas. The article evaluates the sensational treatment of news categories and news values, and their associated social media interaction numbers on Facebook and Twitter.

A key finding is the role the audience. For example sensational stories were shared more on Facebook than non-sensational stories. On the other hand, findings suggest that overall audience’s social media recommendations were not contingent on whether a story was sensational. The study also notes that the so called ‘hard’ news topics were treated sensationally just as often as traditionally sensationalized categories.

The article “A new sensation? An international exploration of sensationalism and social media recommendations in online news publications” was published by Journalism and it can be found here.

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