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Abstract

Social network sites (SNS) like Facebook have become an integral part of accessing news. However, as most users come across news on Facebook when using the site for other reasons (incidental news exposure), they will not necessarily engage with the content they encounter. Although there already is some evidence on the role of single factors that can inform news engagement decisions on Facebook, integrated findings—considering the highly personalized information environment—are still missing. Addressing this, the following study adopts a qualitative approach and relies on self-confrontation interviews with German Facebook users (N = 16). Results of the observations/interviews show that engagement decisions (i.e. the decision to attentively read an encountered news article) are mostly guided by users’ perception of the news content and whether they are (already) interested or invested in the issue of the linked article. Yet, in some situations, this “Matthew effect” can be overshadowed by users’ perceptions of the recommending friend, leaving at least some room for social influence.

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... So zeigt sich, dass Nutzer einen beiläufig entdeckten Nachrichteninhalt umso wahrscheinlicher rezipieren, je mehr grundsätzliches Interesse an und Vorwissen zu dem jeweiligen Thema sie aufweisen (S. Kim & Rehder, 2011;Kümpel, 2018;. Dagegen scheinen situationsübergreifende Nutzungsmuster, wie die generelle Nutzungshäufigkeit von Nachrichten, keine Rolle dafür zu spielen, ob aus einer beiläufigen Begegnung tatsächliche Auseinandersetzung wird (Karnowski, . ...
... Weiterhin ist denkbar, dass die grundsätzliche Häufigkeit der Auseinandersetzung mit beiläufig entdeckten Inhalten auf Facebook selbst beeinflusst, ob es im konkreten Einzelfall zu einer eingehenderen Rezeption oder einer weitergehenden Informationssuche kommt. Je häufiger sich ein Nutzer ganz generell mit beiläufig entdeckten Nachrichteninhalten auseinandersetzt, desto eher dürfte sich diese Tendenz -weitgehend unabhängig vom konkreten Thema oder Inhalt -folglich auch in konkreten Auswahlentscheidungen niederschlagen (Kümpel, 2018). ...
... Eine solche kann sowohl darin bestehen, ad hoc oder mit zeitlichem Abstand weitere Informationen zum jeweiligen Thema zu suchen, dieses Verhalten kurzfristig oder langfristig (also z.B. einmalig oder mehrfach) auszuführen, oder andere in diese Suche miteinzubeziehen, beispielsweise durch Gespräche über das betreffende Thema. Situativer Druck könnte in diesem Zusammenhang durch soziale Einflüsse entstehen, wenn es sich bei dem beiläufig entdeckten Nachrichteninhalt etwa um einen Inhalt handelt, der dem Nutzer aufgrund einer Markierung durch einen Facebook-Freund angezeigt wurde (siehe auchKümpel, 2018). Während bei einer solchen beiläufigen Begegnung vermutlich eher wenig sozialer Druck vorhanden sein wird, sich zum Thema des jeweiligen Artikels weitergehend zu informieren, könnte dieser für eine eingehendere Rezeption durchaus gegeben sein. ...
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Der Band bietet Einblicke in die aktuelle kommunikationswissenschaftliche Rezeptions- und Wirkungsforschung zu den Konsequenzen der Digitalen Transformation öffentlicher Kommunikation. Die Beiträge widmen sich Fragen nach der Nachrichtennutzung auf Facebook, der Meinungsartikulation in der Netzöffentlichkeit und der Beeinflussung von Meinungen in Sozialen Medien (z.B. durch Influencer). Sie dokumentieren jeweils den aktuellen Forschungs- und Wissensstand, beantworten auf empirischer Grundlage aktuelle offene Fragen und geben Anregungen für künftige Forschung. Mit Beiträgen von Patrick Weber, Frank Mangold, Miriam Steiner, Melanie Magin, Birgit Stark, Pascal Jürgens, Anna Sophie Kümpel, Larissa Leonhard, Veronika Karnowski, Claudia Wilhelm, Ines Engelmann, Stefan Geiß, German Neubaum, Manuel Cargnino, Davina Berthelé, Priska Breves, Helene Schüler, Benedikt Spangardt, Kerstin Thummes
... A number of studies have already begun to examine what influences the step from incidental news exposure to engagement on SNS (e.g., Anspach, 2017;Karnowski, Kümpel, Leonhard, & Leiner, 2017;Kümpel, 2019;Messing & Westwood, 2013;Turcotte, York, Irving, Scholl, & Pingree, 2015). Addressing one of the central characteristics of encountering news on SNS, the merging of news with personal social cues (e.g., "Jane Doe shared CNN's post"), these studies mainly focused on the question of how such personal social influence might affect users' selection decisions or information behavior. ...
... Therefore, tagging seems to be a highly dialogic activity, suggesting the existence of a "norm of reciprocity" (Ha et al., 2017, p. 835). Furthermore, qualitative interview data from Kümpel (2019) shows that not reacting to tags is perceived as socially inappropriate or even rudeboth because the friend has taken the trouble to select an article personally for the user and because of the perceived publicness of the interaction. Collectively, these studies indicate that social curation practices-and tagging in particular-might have a share in intentions to read and interact with news. ...
... As indicated by research focusing on selection decisions in the context of online and SNS (news) use, source characteristics (From which news provider does the article originate?), user characteristics (Which personality traits or [news-related] dispositions does the user possess?), and (perceived) message/content characteristics are potentially able to influence news reading intentions as well (for an overview, see Kümpel, 2019). Considering the latter, perceived relevance of or interest in the news story was identified as particularly influential: The more relevant and/or interesting the topic covered in the linked article appears to users, the more likely they are to read it (see, for example, Cappella, Kim, & Albarracín, 2015;Karnowski et al., 2017;Mummolo, 2016). 1 Hence, it can be assumed that reading an encountered article is especially likely for SNS users who already have an interest in news. ...
Article
Coming across news on social network sites (SNS) largely depends on news-related activities in one's network. Although there are many different ways to stumble upon news, limited research has been conducted on how distinct news curation practices influence users' intention to consume encountered content. In this mixed-methods investigation, using Facebook as an example, we first examine the results of an experiment (study 1, n = 524), showing that getting tagged in comments to news posts promotes news consumption the most. Based on this finding, we then focus on actively tagging users by investigating news tagging motives/practices with interactive qualitative interviews centered on participants' Facebook activity logs (study 2, n = 13). Overall, the findings show how news tagging, albeit a strong catalyst for reading and interacting with news, mostly favors users already interested in news, thus challenging the optimistic assumption that SNS might foster incidental learning among less interested audiences.
... In addition to such forms of intentional news usage, news can be encountered incidentally as well (e.g., Bode, 2016). In particular, social media like Facebook facilitate such incidental news exposure, as users are not only exposed to news they have actively searched for, but also to news others have shared or interacted with (Bode, 2016;Choi, 2016;Karnowski, Kümpel, Leonhard, & Leiner, 2017;Kümpel, 2018;Oeldorf-Hirsch, 2018;Weeks, Lane, Kim, Lee, & Kwak, 2017). ...
... This mode of navigation resembles a phenomenon that Tewksbury and colleagues (2001, p. 533) refer to as incidental news exposure, that is, encountering current affairs information as a byproduct of other online activities. Currently, such incidental exposure to news content is particularly likely in social media environments where news overlaps with updates from friends, sponsored content, or event notifications (e.g., Kim, Chen, & Gil de Zúñiga, 2013;Kümpel, 2018;Oeldorf-Hirsch, 2018). Taken together, these modes of navigation represent a continuum between search browsing (where the goal is known) and serendipitous browsing, which is "purely random" (Catledge & Pitkow, 1995, p. 1066. ...
... Investigating the relationship between subjectively perceived and actually existing political knowledge is particularly interesting when considering the relevance of social media as sources of news, where news content can be both searched for intentionally as well as discovered incidentally (Bode, 2016;Choi, 2016;Karnowski et al., 2017;Kümpel, 2018;Müller, Schneiders, & Schäfer, 2016;Oeldorf-Hirsch, 2018). Initial findings on the link between the use of Facebook for news and subjective and objective political knowledge suggest that Facebook use is not related to objective political knowledge In der Au et al., 2017). ...
Article
As online news today is an important source of political information and available in vast quantities, understanding its use and its impact on citizens' political knowledge is vital. The aim of the present study is to identify different usage patterns of online news and their relation to individually perceived (i.e., subjective) and actually measurable (i.e., objective) political knowledge. To do so, we conducted an online survey of German online news users (n = 396), investigating characteristics of their online news usage as well as their subjective and objective political knowledge. Latent class analysis revealed six distinct usage patterns, of which a usage pattern drawing heavily on social media and push accesses as a source of news (e.g., Facebook newsfeed, email newsletter) and being rather highly driven by entertainment needs has been found to be associated with an overestimation of one's own political knowledge (illusion of knowing). The potential negative implications of such an illusion of knowing are discussed against the backdrop of the democratic ideal of informed citizens.
... But what makes users click on news posts? Studies indicate that further news engagement is fostered by interest in a topic, pre-existing knowledge, and recommendations of friends (Anspach, 2017;Karnowski, Kümpel, Leonhard, & Leiner, 2017;Kümpel, 2019). For example, findings by Anspach (2017) indicate that endorsements and discussions of friends on SNS serve as an important heuristic for the decision to click on a news post. ...
... An illusion of knowing could be found only for news posts, not for news articles. As outlined in the theoretical section, users base their decision to click on news posts on topical interest and recommendations of friends (Karnowski et al., 2017;Kümpel, 2019), as well as on the slant that is conveyed (Bakshy et al., 2015). Thus, especially news posts and snack news that do not meet the interest or attitudes of users and those that are not recommended by friends have the potential to evoke a false feeling of being informed. ...
... In this study, it was not possible to individualize the news feeds for every participant to overcome this limitation. However, since recommendations by friends in the SNS increase the probability of clicking on posts (Kümpel, 2019) which in turn affects knowledge perception, social cues should also be considered when investigating a false feeling of being informed through SNS. It is up to future research to investigate how these kind of personal information might interfere with the processes that were found in the present study. ...
Article
Research indicates that using social network sites as a source for news increases perceived knowledge even if, objectively, people fail to acquire knowledge. This might result from the frequent repetition of topics in news posts caused by multiple news outlets posting about the same news topics and the algorithm that favors similar postings. These repeated encounters can have a positive effect on the perception of knowing more, even if actual learning hardly occurs. An experiment (N = 810, representative of German Internet users) tested these assumptions. Participants were assigned to one of four groups and received a news feed with no information, few news posts, many news posts, or a full-length news article. Results indicate that many news posts increased perceived knowledge that is not paralleled by a gain in factual knowledge. Perceived knowledge mediates effects of reading many news posts on more extreme attitudes and the willingness for discussions. Even if participants who read the news article gained factual knowledge, they did not feel more knowledgeable than participants who were exposed to a news feed containing news posts. The results emphasize the meaning of engaging with full news articles, both for learning facts and for more accurate knowledge assessments.
... The present research is a response to the abovementioned global crisis and an answer to the previous ones [18,19], where it was pointed out that we still know little about the factors that influence whether users actually engage with the news content they encounter [20]. Some research [21,22] recognized a need to stay informed as one of the possible factors, also named as a need for cognition (NFC). ...
... It caused major concern in public health, as the impact of misinformation can reduce the effectiveness of initiatives aimed at citizens' health and awareness about the disease [17]. The present research is a response to the abovementioned global crisis and an answer to the previous ones [18,19], where it was pointed out that we still know little about the factors that influence whether users actually engage with the news content they encounter [20]. Some research [21,22] recognized a need to stay informed as one of the possible factors, also named as a need for cognition (NFC). ...
... When considering the relationship between NFC and news engagement, we researched a previous study [20] indicating that the factors influencing users' engagement with the news content they encounter still lack more detailed research. ...
Article
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During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, people have, in many cases, acquired information primarily from social media. Users’ need to stay informed and the intensive circulation of news has led to the spread of misinformation. As they have engaged in news, it has raised the question of trust. This study provides a model on how news trust can be explained through a need for cognition and news engagement. Accordingly, 433 Slovenian social media users participated in our survey. Structural equation modeling revealed that (1) the lower the need for cognition and the more prior knowledge about COVID-19 users have, the more they believe that social media news comprises all facts about the disease; (2) the more users believe that news comprises all essential facts, the more they trust that the news depicts the actual situation about COVID-19 accurately; (3) the more users are interested in engaging with social media news, the more they trust that the actual situation about COVID-19 is depicted accurately. These findings may help authorities to frame messages about COVID-19 effectively. We suggest investing more effort in disseminating new scientific evidence about the disease to contribute to the accurate shaping of knowledge about COVID-19 among social media users.
... Second, social media enable citizens to participate in information engagement activities, such as sharing and expressing news information and opinions. As engagement is based on user's interaction with media (Khan, 2017), social media engagement with news indicates that users actually engage with news they encounter on social media, such as actively seeking, sharing, and commenting on news (Karnowski et al., 2017;Kümpel, 2019). Communication scholars have noted that social media can provide immediate and cost-efficient methods of communication within communities (Johnson & Halegoua, 2015), helping to promote social media engagement. ...
... Moreover, social media enable users to express and share their feelings, opinions, ideas, and experiences, on social and political issues using text, images, audio, and video (Choi & Shin, 2017). The current study particularly focuses on social media engagement because the engagement activity, such as expressing one's opinion, has been considered an antecedent stage in the direction of civic engagement or political participation (Bode et al., 2014;Kümpel, 2019;Nah & Yamamoto, 2017). ...
... That is, the higher the level of ICSN community members hold, the more likely they are to have higher levels of engagement -whether by being psychologically (collective efficacy), cognitively (neighborhood belonging), and behaviorally (offline and online civic participation) engaged. These findings are well aligned with prior studies and reaffirms that ICSN is essential in building a vibrant civic community through informed, efficacious, and engaged citizens (e.g., Kim et al., 2019;Nah & Yamamoto, 2017, 2019. Unlike the effects of ICSN, social media use for news consumption yielded a positive association with collective efficacy and online civic participation while social media news expression as a more active engagement with news and information was positively related to neighborhood belonging. ...
Article
This study advances communication infrastructure theory by testing the effects of an integrated community storytelling network (ICSN) and social media as a newly emerging community storytelling agent on civic engagement. A nationwide survey in South Korea indicates that, while ICSN is a robust driving force for civic engagement, social media news use and social media news expression played a vital role in promoting collective efficacy as well as neighborhood belonging and online civic participation, respectively. In particular, social media news use moderated the effects of ICSN on offline and online civic participation. These findings suggest that social media as an emerging storytelling network in the CIT framework can play distinct yet selective roles in predicting civic engagement.
... Although past research has demonstrated that curating actors have a significant impact on the political information environment in general, and on individuals' personal political information networks specifically, most researchers have asked what content finds its way into individuals' media feeds and with what effects, drawing on frameworks centered on selective and incidental exposure (Anspach, 2017;Kaiser et al., 2021;Kümpel, 2019;Merten, 2021;Thorson, 2020;Wells & Thorson, 2017) and algorithmic filtration (DeVito, 2017;Diakopoulos, 2019;Thorson, 2020;Thorson et al., 2021;Trielli & Diakopoulos, 2020). Missing from the literature is a robust account of the actual curatorial activities curating actors engage in (cf. ...
... For instance, algorithmic filters use an individual media user's personal curation behaviors as input to determine which content to show them in the future (Davis, 2017;DeVito, 2017;Thorson, 2020;Thorson et al., 2021). Likewise, social contacts often share content curated by journalists with friends and followers (Anspach, 2017;Kaiser et al., 2021;Kümpel, 2019), and their friends and followers are more likely to see that content because it was shared by a social contact due to the algorithmic prioritization of friend relationships (DeVito, 2017). Accordingly, the spread of political information involves multi-step flows of curation involving numerous actors from original content creators to ultimate content consumers. ...
... Since the publication of Thorson and Wells' framework, various scholars have investigated how political information is curated by different actors. Most of these scholars have focused on individuals' practices of "self-curation" (Merten, 2021), curation by social contacts (Anspach, 2017;Bergström & Jervelycke Belfrage, 2018;Kaiser et al., 2021;Kümpel, 2019), and curation by algorithms (DeVito, 2017;Diakopoulos, 2019;Thorson, 2020;Thorson et al., 2021;Trielli & Diakopoulos, 2020), as well as how these three forms of curation intersect (Davis, 2017). It is important to note, though, that although the curated flows perspective emphasizes the capacities of non-journalistic actors to produce and distribute novel political information, most research employing this perspective has specifically considered the flows of journalistic news content (cf. ...
Article
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News is often sourced not directly from journalistic outlets, but from various actors that “curate” the content that flows into individuals’ personal information networks. Yet, while we know these curating actors have a significant impact on the news individuals receive, we know little about what happens behind the scenes to determine what content these actors share, as well as how and why. To address this gap in knowledge, I isolated one specific kind of curating actor relevant to the flow of political information: social movement organizations. Drawing on an ethnographic case study from the US transgender movement, I analyzed the “logics of curation” at play in organizations’ social media practices. These logics included the internal criteria by which they decided what news stories to share, how they decided when and by which media each story should be shared, and what they hoped to achieve as the end result of curation.
... As previous research has shown (Lee and Kim, 2017), such engagement seems to be essential for positive effects of INE to occur, and needs to be considered alongside questions of mere exposure when investigating INE's potential. Through discussing prevalent inequalities, I propose the existence of a 'Matthew Effect' (Merton, 1968; see also Kümpel, 2019b) in social media news use, suggesting (relative) enrichment among users already interested in news and (relative) impoverishment among those with little or no interest in current affairs information. ...
... Investigating INE on Facebook, Kümpel (2019b) has identified five factors that might influence the shift from mere exposure to article previews to engagement with the full article (see Figure 2). These include the perceived (1) characteristics of the news provider, (2) characteristic of the news content, (3) characteristics of the news curator (i.e. the social contact associated with a news post), (4) characteristics of the news recommendation (i.e. ...
... Arendt et al., 2017;Medders and Metzger, 2018), suggesting that they could also influence engagement decisions on SNS. In fact, recent studies relying on highly educated samples show that perceptions of valued legacy media outlets are at least indirectly involved in generating attention and shaping engagement decisions (Kaiser et al., 2018;Kümpel, 2019b). However, as news products are 'experience goods' (Prior, 2013: 120), brand images should only be a relevant criterion for users that have had their share of experiences with specific news providers. ...
Article
Social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become a key part of online users’ news diets. On social network sites, even individuals who are not motivated to seek out news are believed to be exposed to news posts due to the sharing activities of friends or inadvertently witnessing discussions about current events. Research on this incidental news exposure (INE) has largely focused on its potential for positive effects on information gain or political participation, while simultaneously turning a blind eye to the inequalities in news exposure and engagement. This article aims to address this issue by proposing and explicating the existence of a ‘Matthew Effect’ in social media news use. It is argued that INE research needs to consider the unequal chances to both be exposed to news on social network sites and to actually engage (i.e. read and interact) with ‘accidentally’ encountered news content.
... En el caso de los mensajes informativos publicados por medios de comunicación, los likes suelen ir dirigidos a noticias de carácter de última hora (Segado-Boj, Díaz-campo y Soria, 2015). Asimismo, el tema del artículo y el interés que dicho tema despierta en los individuos también motiva la expresión de "me gusta" (Kümpel, 2019). Concretamente, las noticias acerca de asuntos sociales, culturales, científicos y de entretenimiento logran un mayor número de "me gusta" (Tenenboim y Cohen, 2015). ...
... Otro avance innovador de esta investigación es que estudia específicamente la participación de la audiencia en las noticias sobre las principales causas externas de muerte, cuando hasta ahora los artículos publicados se han centrado más en un análisis de la participación de los lectores en general (Toepfl y Litvinenko, 2021;Hille y Bakker, 2017;Netzer, Tenenboim-Weinblatt y Shifman, 2014) o bien en una reacción relacionada con un enfoque de carácter político (Kenski, Coe y Rains, 2020;Sülflow, Schäfer y Winter, 2019;Kalogeropoulos, Negredo, Picone y Nielsen, 2017) Este extremo es especialmente importante ya que la motivación del usuario para interactuar con la noticia depende del interés que suscite el tema de la misma (Kümpel, 2019). ...
Article
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En este estudio se analiza la participación de los lectores en noticias sobre siniestros en los medios digitales españoles. El trabajo compara el número de veces que se indica “me gusta”, “compartido” y “comentado” en las noticias sobre los principales sucesos de muertes por causa externa: accidentes de tráfico, caídas, ahogamientos y suicidios. Para ello, se han recopilado piezas periodísticas del periodo 2010-2017 a través de la hemeroteca Mynewsonline. Se ha llevado a cabo un análisis de contenido en una muestra representativa de noticias (n=4.733), donde se ha medido el número de reacciones para cada noticia en los seis principales medios de comunicación digitales españoles (elpais.com, elmundo.es, abc.es, lavanguardia.com, elconfidencial.com y 20minutos.es). Se ha estudiado también la relación de esta participación de los lectores según el tipo de siniestro, los rasgos sensacionalistas que presente la noticia y el carácter popular de las víctimas. Los resultados confirman una baja participación social en los indicativos de “me gusta” y “compartido” y una mayor actividad en los comentarios de las noticias, sobre todo en los casos de suicidio, en noticias con rasgos sensacionalistas y cuando la víctima es un personaje popularmente conocido.
... Lastly, we still remain cautious about claiming that the proposed mechanisms fully explain what is going on behind the negative effect of social media news use on political knowledge. News consumption activity in social media platforms tends to be complicated, as not all social media users engage in news to the same extent, or in the same way (Choi, 2016;Karnowski et al., 2017;Kümpel, 2019aKümpel, , 2019b. Thus, social media's effects on political knowledge may differ by how individuals access and consume news via social media. ...
... For instance, even if we found that social media news use strongly facilitates NFM perception, such perception may not indicate the same phenomenon among different types of people. For instance, those who already have a relatively high interest in politics may actively craft their social media environment to curate these spaces in a way that news finds them easily; contrarily, those who have relatively lower interest in politics would not do so, and may just be passively exposed to news -thus making them less actively engaged in the news content (Edgerly, 2017;Kümpel, 2019aKümpel, , 2019bKümpel, , 2020Möller et al., 2019). If this is the case, the NFM perception can be a well-founded perception for some people (especially those who are interested in politics and regularly consume news), while serving as more of a misperception for others. ...
Article
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This study examines the causal effects of social media use on political knowledge as well as the underlying mechanisms through which such an effect occurs. The findings suggest that social media use hinders rather than enhances an individual’s learning about politics, because social media use fosters the perception that one no longer needs to actively seek news in order to stay informed (i.e., news-finds-me perception), and this in turn may have an adverse effect on an individual’s learning about politics. However, those who use traditional forms of media to a substantial degree to complement their news consumption via social media are less negatively affected than those who do not.
... A related concept in news consumption literature is incidental news exposure (INE), or when "people encounter current affairs information when they had not been actively seeking it" (Tewksbury et al., 2001: 534). Initially studied in the context of online news, where users can get accidentally exposed to news headlines they were not originally looking for (Tewksbury et al., 2001), INE has since been applied to the study of social media news consumption (Kümpel, 2019). However, Lewis (2017) argued that "Scanning involves more than just unintentional exposure to topics, namely also a subsequent decision to attend to that information" (p. 7). ...
... While none of our participants claimed to be a routine news consumer prior to the outbreak-this is consistent with studies that found young people as more likely to be engaged in incidental, rather than purposeful, news exposure (e.g. Kümpel, 2019;Tewksbury et al., 2001)-many of our participants reported actively seeking information specifically about COVID-19. ...
Article
Guided by the frameworks of uncertainty management and sensemaking during crises, this study examined how young adults in Singapore managed uncertainty around the COVID-19 outbreak. Through a series of eight focus group discussions involving 89 young adults, we found that participants experienced uncertainty about the outbreak, especially when it comes to how they should protect themselves. They managed this uncertainty in two ways: while some engaged in information seeking, others engaged in information scanning. Those who did not actively seek information did not avoid it either, with some of them finding it impossible to avoid information about COVID-19, as it comes up in their routine social media use and offline conversations. Understanding COVID-19 as an illness that does not threaten young people, our participants noted only minimal disruptions to them. Instead, they were more concerned about their parents and older family members, whom they considered as more vulnerable.
... Hence, while a SMI who regularly talks about political topics on their account only has the potential to motivate those who already think politics is interesting, a SMI that talks about nonpolitical topics is able to motivate those who typically perceive politics to be uninteresting but feel they share similarities with the source. This in part aligns with insights from studies examining incidental news exposure on social media, whereby results indicate that engagement with news is mostly shaped by users' prior knowledge and interests; however, the perception of a spreader of news can also play a role in news engagement (Karnowski, Kümpel, Leonhard, and Leiner, 2017;Kümpel, 2019). Hence, consuming information and participating in politics, while still predominantly shaped by personal interest (Naderer et al., 2020), leaves at least some room for social influences (Kümpel, 2019). ...
... This in part aligns with insights from studies examining incidental news exposure on social media, whereby results indicate that engagement with news is mostly shaped by users' prior knowledge and interests; however, the perception of a spreader of news can also play a role in news engagement (Karnowski, Kümpel, Leonhard, and Leiner, 2017;Kümpel, 2019). Hence, consuming information and participating in politics, while still predominantly shaped by personal interest (Naderer et al., 2020), leaves at least some room for social influences (Kümpel, 2019). ...
Article
The impact of social media influencers (SMIs) on brand-related outcomes has been well researched, yet whether this influence also impacts political participation and what role the relationship between SMIs and their audiences play has not been sufficiently examined to date. Basing this study on the Balance Model, I investigated the potential of an unlikely vs. a likely source and the role of similarity with a SMI based on a shared topic interest to elicit the intention for political action in an experimental study (n = 222). The perceived similarity with the SMI was examined as a mediator and the role of the shared topic interest with the SMI as a potential moderator. The results indicate that a likely source for political information generated a greater topic fit. The perceived similarity with the source depended on the shared topic interest between the source and the participants. This is a key finding, as perceived similarity with the source in turn predicted the intention to take political action, which positively activated participants who shared the topic interest of the unlikely source even if they did not indicate a topic interest in politics. Thus, a shared interest with a SMI might make even those not interested in politics more open to political participation.
... Although when it comes to studying news use quantitative methods have dominated qualitative (Kümpel, Karnowski, and Keyling 2015) and especially ethnographic (Hartley 2008;Bird 2011) methods, recently there has been an undeniable surge in qualitative, interview-based studies (e.g., Edgerly 2017; Swart, Peters, and Broersma 2018;Toff and Palmer 2018;Ytre-Arne and Moe 2018;Kümpel 2019). Following Crang's (2002, 649) statements about a similar development in Human Geography two decades earlier, it could be argued that the time has come for news audience researchers to go "beyond simply championing or justifying qualitative methods" vis-à-vis quantitative methods and to be more reflective and critical regarding the limitations and possibilities of the qualitative interview. ...
Article
Full-text available
This article aims to provide a resource for journalism researchers looking to use a qualitative approach to study news use. It seeks to go beyond justifying qualitative methods vis-à-vis quantitative methods and to be more reflective and critical regarding the limitations and possibilities of the qualitative interview. Making the case for taking experience as point of departure for studying news use, the article explicates this notion by drawing from different theoretical conceptions of experience. Based on three recent user studies, the article critically reflects upon three interview-based methods that center around users’ experience of news use—the think-aloud protocol, watching and discussing news, and the two-sided video-ethnography—and discusses their theoretical, methodological and epistemological implications. A common thread emerging from the different user studies is that people require support to be able to access and communicate their experiences of news use. The methods discussed proved successful at doing so, respectively by having informants comment on what they saw right in front of them (see), by giving them the tools and the vocabulary to reflect on a prior experience (think), and by bringing them in touch with their sensations of using news (feel).
... There are also state-like factors related to how specific social network contexts can influence incidental exposure. For example, news stories posted to social media contain numerous cues, including who shared the news, the news source, the news topic, and engagement metrics that can affect whether someone reads or engages with the content (Kümpel, 2019). News is read more widely and carefully when it is shared by others that are either strong ties, highly trusted, or perceived to be knowledgeable (Anspach, 2017;Kaiser et al., 2018Karnowski et al., 2017Turcotte et al., 2015). ...
Article
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The profusion of information about current events in digital media makes it likely that individuals are exposed to news through the course of everyday life, even when they are not motivated to do so. Yet, such incidental news exposure and its consequences depend on a multitude of characteristics that are unique to individuals and the social and information environments they inhabit. This complexity makes it difficult to evaluate the broader democratic implications of incidental exposure. To address this challenge, we propose an ecological model that offers a more comprehensive framework for theorizing and studying incidental news exposure in digital media environments. The model organizes factors influencing incidental exposure into six ecological levels that span individual and environmental domains. It further distinguishes state-like factors (i.e. malleable, context-dependent) and trait-like factors (i.e. stable, context-independent). We demonstrate how the model can (1) better define types of incidental exposure, (2) theorize how factors can interact across levels to shape exposure and its consequences, and (3) identify promising areas for future research.
... The literature on news sharing is broad, considering subjective, social, rational, and emotional factors that explain sharing behavior. As described by Kümpel (2019) and Boehmer and Tandoc Jr (2015), individual's sharing behavior can be explained by factors such as the trustworthiness of the source (Suh et al., 2010;Wang et al., 2012), the content of the message (Macskassy and Michelson, 2011), the attention to issues (Boyd et al., 2010;Rudat et al., 2014), and the linkages between users and their peer groups. Empirical testing of these models, however, requires a statistical model to extract informative parameters from observational data. ...
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Why do readers share links to news articles in social media feeds? How important are ideological considerations, the reputation of a news organizations, and the attention of users to an issue? In this article, we describe a statistical model that takes as input a matrix of social media embeds and delivers estimates of the importance of ideological (cognitive) congruence , media reputation, and issue attention in news sharing. The proposed model allows researchers to (i) understand news consumption in different regions of a social network; (ii) decompose the demand for content revealed by users; and (iii) estimate the optimal editorial line if news organizations were solely interested in maximizing readership. All three contributions are theoretically informed and of substantive interest to students of the relationship between news consumption and social media. Results of our study also inform recent debates on gatekeeping behavior, modeling congruence between the media organization and users as content is activated in different regions of a social media network. We test the proposed model using news embeds in Twitter and compare three different events in the United States (#TravelBan), Brazil (#Bolsonaro), and Argentina (#Maldonado). The data includes 2,031,518 retweets from 241,271 high activity accounts of the #Trav-elBan; 2,943,993 retweets published by 162,107 high activity accounts from the #Bolsonaro election in Brazil; and 5,325,240 million retweets from 196,066 high activity accounts from the #Maldonado crisis in Argentina.
... To achieve greater external validity, observational studies seem appropriate. Combined with self-confrontation interviews, they allow for insights into both media use and individually encountered context (e.g., Kümpel, 2018). However, because of the highly labor-intensive nature of this method, the number of participants to be observed and the collection of data are limited. ...
Article
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A lot of modern media use is guided by algorithmic curation, a phenomenon that is in desperate need of empirical observation, but for which adequate methodological tools are largely missing. To fill this gap, computational observation offers a novel approach-the unobtrusive and automated collection of information encountered within algorithmically curated media environments by means of a browser plug-in. In contrast to prior methodological approaches, browser plug-ins allow for reliable capture and repetitive analysis of both content and context at the point of the actual user encounter. After discussing the technological, ethical, and practical considerations relevant to this automated solution, we present our open-source browser plug-in as an element in an adequate multi-method design, along with potential links to panel surveys and content analysis. Ultimately, we present a proof-of-concept study in the realm of news exposure on Facebook; we successfully deployed the plug-in to Chrome and Firefox, and we combined the computational observation with a two-wave panel survey. Although this study suffered from severe recruitment difficulties, the results indicate that the methodological setup is reliable and ready to implement for data collection within a variety of studies on media use and media effects.
... While IOEP may engage people in processing news in some way (Oeldorf-Hirsch, 2018), the intensity is higher for news that is actively sought (Boczkowski et al., 2018). Furthermore, being interested in the topic at stake is central to engagement level (Karnowski et al., 2017;Kümpel, 2019;Mitchell and Page, 2013). Thus, not only is the chance to receive political information accidentally dependent on political sophistication, but also the ability and willingness to process this information. ...
Article
This article deals with potential effects of incidental online exposure to political information (IOEP) on the German electorate during the 2017 national election campaign. We argue that the difference in currently unexpected and generally unwanted exposure to political online communication is crucial to the study of IOEP effects. While the former might result in “passive learning,” we hypothesize that–based on psychological reactance theory–the latter may be linked to defensive reactions with undesirable consequences among those who already are alienated from politics. Using cross-sectional data from an online survey among 1100 eligible voters, we can demonstrate that IOEP correlates with reactance in substantial segments. The study’s results are indicating, that the viral character of online campaigning may lead to the opposite of what was intended: voters are not only “trapped,” but might be repelled instead. Further empirical elaboration dealing with causal assumptions is encouraged.
... La intención del usuario de interactuar en redes sociales con las noticias está impulsada principalmente por el tema del artículo y por el interés que dicho tema suscita en el individuo (Kümpel, 2019). En Facebook, concretamente, la participación del usuario depende más de la naturaleza de los acontecimientos sobre los que informa la noticia y de los valores de la noticia que cada artículo pone de relieve (Salgado y Boba, 2019). ...
Article
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Esta investigación analiza la relación entre los temas, valores noticiosos y presencia de sensacionalismo en noticias publicadas en Facebook y el nivel de interacción de los usuarios. Para ello se lleva a cabo un análisis de contenido (n=2.821) de mensajes publicados en Facebook por seis diarios españoles (El País, El Mundo, La Vanguardia, El Confidencial, El Diario y El Español). Se han identificado diferentes tendencias para distintas facetas de la interacción (compartir, "Me gusta”, comentar y reacciones emocionales). Los comentarios se relacionan con noticias sobre gobierno y partidos políticos y con artículos centrados en la proximidad, la actualidad, la relevancia social, la utilidad y la élite. Los "Me gusta" son más frecuentes en artículos deportivos, mientras que los artículos más compartidos muestran una presencia significativa de rasgos sensacionalistas. Se propone que investigaciones posteriores analicen otras categorías temáticas para proporcionar un análisis más amplio del fenómeno del engagement de las noticias.
... However, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp formed the most important gateways to news and journalism. News was an integral part of their social media use, although consistent with previous research (Kümpel, 2019;Swart et al., 2018a), it was usually not followed on purpose. Interviewees mostly discovered news via their social connections. ...
Article
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The news that young people consume is increasingly subject to algorithmic curation. Yet, while numerous studies explore how algorithms exert power in citizens’ everyday life, little is known about how young people themselves perceive, learn about, and deal with news personalization. Considering the interactions between algorithms and users from an user-centric perspective, this article explores how young people make sense of, feel about, and engage with algorithmic news curation on social media and when such everyday experiences contribute to their algorithmic literacy. Employing in-depth interviews in combination with the walk-through method and think-aloud protocols with a diverse group of 22 young people aged 16–26 years, it addresses three current methodological challenges to studying algorithmic literacy: first, the lack of an established baseline about how algorithms operate; second, the opacity of algorithms within everyday media use; and third, limitations in technological vocabularies that hinder young people in articulating their algorithmic encounters. It finds that users’ sense-making strategies of algorithms are context-specific, triggered by expectancy violations and explicit personalization cues. However, young people’s intuitive and experience-based insights into news personalization do not automatically enable young people to verbalize these, nor does having knowledge about algorithms necessarily stimulate users to intervene in algorithmic decisions.
... Similar to traditional media environments, there is evidence that individuals with high levels of political interest are more likely to consume news on social media in general. Karnowski, Kümpel, Leonhard, and Leiner (2017) and Kümpel (2019) identify topical interest as one of the strongest determinants on the intention to read news items and to seek out further information after seeing a news item on Facebook. Just like news exposure, the probabilities of actual news consumption on social media are in favor of those already interested in news who are also predominantly users with higher education, income, and political interest. ...
Article
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The rise of news content on social media has been accompanied by a hope that people with lower socioeconomic status and less interest in political affairs would be “accidentally” exposed to news. By combining tracking and survey data from a Dutch online panel (N = 413), we analyze how political interest, income, and education influence social media news exposure and consumption. Higher levels of political interest are associated with higher amounts of news exposure on Facebook and more news items consumed via social media. Users engage less often in news-related follow-up behavior after consuming news items via social media than after consuming news items referred via news websites. If social media news use seems to occur particularly for those who are already interested in current affairs and makes follow-up consumption less likely, the specificities of the social media ecosystems might accelerate rather than level inequalities in news use.
... (1) Social media can increase users' connectedness with the common core, for example, by increasing the probability of incidental news exposure (Kümpel 2019), particularly if users have diverse interests and heterogeneous networks (Bodó et al. 2019). Also, extremely popular "viral" messages spread quickly and comprehensively (Bampo et al. 2008) across camps. ...
Article
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The diversification of information sources has reignited the controversy on media-induced fragmentation endangering social integration. The media’s capability to set the public agenda and create issues as a common core is a pivotal part of the public sphere and contributes fundamentally to society’s cohesion. Algorithm-driven sources like social media that personalize content to the preferences of individuals and their social networks are considered agents of fragmentation of the public sphere. Politically extreme individuals relying on them may be particularly vulnerable to losing touch with society’s common core. We employ an innovative operationalization of fragmentation on the individual level: ‘issue horizons’—comprising issue diversity, top issue focus, and issue overlap—to investigate how different information sources affect fragmentation. In a two-week daily diary, conducted 2016 in Germany, 356 participants named the two most important political issues of each day and reported the issue-specific sources of information. Results show that social media reliance neither increases nor decrease the compatibility of individuals’ issue horizons, but news media reliance significantly increases the compatibility of issue horizons among the politically more extreme. Not relying on news media (but rather on social media) means that politically extreme persons are at risk of losing touch with society’s mainstream. This attests to the news media’s ongoing, indispensable integration function. Using multiple sources of political information—including the news media—appears to be of paramount importance in ensuring that most citizens are aware of the most important issues facing the nation.
... The most natural-albeit laborious and ethically challenging-way to deal with the fact that news experiences are personalized, is to conduct research that works with people's own social media accounts. For example, a combination of naturalistic observations and selfconfrontation interviews offers insights into how social media users navigate their feeds, the contextual dynamics of their (news) use, as well as the individual considerations that shape engagement with personalized content (e.g., Kümpel, 2019b). Other options include combining tracking and survey data (e.g., Möller et al., 2019), or connecting digital trace data with users' self-reports (e.g., Thorson et al., 2019). ...
Article
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Social media have become a central source for news and current affairs information. This article focuses on the overarching attributes that shape how people come in contact with news, engage with news, and are affected by news on social media. Although all social media are different and change constantly, news experiences on these platforms can consistently be characterized as personalized, incidental, non-exclusive, as well as granularized and social (PINGS). Accordingly, this article introduces the PINGS framework, which acts as a systematization of social media news experiences and can be used to map key opportunities and challenges of using news across various social media platforms. In addition to presenting the framework components, the article also discusses how researchers can investigate PINGS in empirical studies.
Chapter
This chapter will reveal how a consideration of the mediation of metal music by actors associated with the Merseyside scene enables us to gain a richer understanding of their cultural production. The role of a range of media forms is examined, from niche media such as flyers, to Facebook events pages and tweets. It will be argued that contemporary metal music scenes in Merseyside (and beyond) are increasingly dependent on what Hutchinson (Micro-platformization for Digital Activism on Social Media. Information, Communication & Society 24 (1): 2021, 36) calls “digital intermediation” in that artists and promoters are consistently reflecting on how content will reach audiences online. The chapter will also assert that the production of metal music in Merseyside involves different types of co-creative and relational labour that is heavily reliant upon fans and even family members.
Chapter
Search engines have established themselves as the central means of searching for information online. This book examines which criteria are important for the selection of search results when Internet users search for information using search engines. For this purpose, the book systematises and combines both the search process and relevant factors which influence selection decisions in a model that describes the effect of various influences on the individual steps in the search process. In three preliminary studies and one main study, each following an experimental design and relying on the automated recording of search behaviour, it empirically tests selected steps in the model. The results of this show that ranking acts as the dominant influence in the selection of search results. However, source characteristics and individual attributions (e.g. the perceived credibility of search results) also have a distinct influence on the search process.
Research
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Analýza se pokouší přispět k porozumění danému tématu, které je v domácím poli málo probádané. Proto tvoří východiska studie širší mezinárodní výzkum uživatelského chování v prostředí internetu. Přesněji řečeno, speciální teorie a výzkum modelů uživatelského chování ve vztahu k personalizovaným obsahům na internetu (např. Liu, Mulholland, Song, Uren a Rüger, 2010; White a Drucker, 2007). Vzhledem k explorativní povaze dané studie, která má za úkol připravit půdu pro širší kvantitativní, reprezentativní výzkum domácí majoritní populace, jsme využili analytické techniky vycházející ze zakotvené teorie – tj. otevřené a axiální kódování (Corbin a Strauss, 2015). Tyto postupy nám umožnily systematicky představit empirická data jako soubor vzájemně souvisejících abstraktních kategorií, které sytí dílčí empirické znaky konkrétního jednání a prožívání. Takto popsané pole nám poskytlo nástroje pro zodpovězení čtyř teoreticky zakotvených výzkumných otázek. I. VO: Rozumí respondenti pravidlům a mechanismům algoritmizované personalizace obsahů a podmínkám jejich technické i zákonné regulace? II.VO: Jak respondenti v roli uživatelů algoritmizované personalizace obsahů pohlížejí na její přínosy a ohrožení? III.VO: Jaké uživatelské taktiky užívají respondenti k naplnění svobodné volby pod omezujícím tlakem struktury a jaké změny považují za prospěšné k posílení důvěryhodnosti algoritmizované personalizace obsahu?
Book
Durch das Internet hat sich der Zugang zu Nachrichten maßgeblich verändert. Informationen stehen nicht nur unbegrenzt zur Verfügung, sondern sie sind auch zu einem omnipräsenten Bestandteil in digitalen Informationsumgebungen geworden. Dadurch werden Internetnutzer*innen, auch ohne bewusst danach zu suchen, wiederholt mit tagesaktuellen Schlagzeilen konfrontiert, z.B. wenn sie ihren Browser öffnen, oder sich auf sozialen Netzwerkseiten bewegen. Diese kurzen Nachrichtenkontakte haben aufgrund der geringen Informationsmenge wenig Potential für Lerneffekte, können jedoch das Gefühl vermitteln, sich mit einem Thema auszukennen. Vor diesem Hintergrund stellt sich die Frage, inwiefern Nachrichten in digitalen Informationsumgebungen die Entstehung einer Wissensillusion begünstigen, wie sich dieser Prozess erklären lässt und mit welchen Folgen dies verbunden ist. Im theoretischen Teil der Arbeit werden dazu Erkenntnisse zum Gedächtnis, dem Metagedächtnis und der Rolle von Medien für Wissen und Wissenswahrnehmung aufgearbeitet. In Studie 1 wird mit einer experimentellen Studie untersucht, wie sich Nachrichten auf sozialen Netzwerkseiten im Vergleich zu vollständigen Nachrichtenartikeln auf objektives und subjektives Wissen auswirken. Außerdem werden Effekte einer Wissensillusion für Einstellungen und Verhalten untersucht. Studie 2 untersucht mit qualitativen Leitfadeninterviews, welche Rolle Medien für Wissen und Lernen aus Sicht der Nutzer*innen spielen. Diese Erkenntnisse liefern Erklärungen dafür, weshalb und aufgrund welcher Merkmale unterschiedliche Nachrichtenkontakte eine Wissensillusion begünstigen können.
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Online media environments have changed the way young people access news. Despite much research on the topic, the expectations of journalistic news by young adults who have turned their back on traditional news media remain unclear. We use a novel multimethod qualitative online study design to investigate the perceived quality, functions, and expectations toward journalistic news of young adults in Switzerland who use social media as their main source for news and rarely consume traditional media. Nineteen young adults between 20 and 25 years of age with different educational levels participated in our study in May 2020. Our results show that even though the participants only occasionally use traditional news media channels, they still consider journalistic news relevant and appreciate quality standards of professional journalism such as actuality and veracity (Swart 2021b). Among the functions of news, the participants highlighted sociability and identification. Exchange and discussion of news are, thus, of high relevance online but also offline. Also, the participants show a high affinity toward news on mobilizing topics, which are of interest to themselves and their peers, and motivate them to engage with news more intensely. According to the participants, news should be attractively prepared, such as with audiovisual formats and easy to understand and integrate into everyday life. The participants also expressed a preference to consume news articles from different media brands within a single platform. Our study outlines a fruitful path for comprehensive qualitative research with innovative online tools.
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On a regular day, individuals can consume news and information on purpose as well as accidently. Incidental news exposure (INE) can be critical for an informed citizenry, but individuals can also encounter misinformation and disinformation accidently. Misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic has made headlines, and such fake information continues to circulate on social media. We examine the link between INE and misperceptions, as well as investigate the role of a literacy-related variable, self-perceived media literacy (SPML), which may mitigate the impact of INE on misperceptions. To that end, we use survey data to examine 1) the relationship between INE with general misperceptions and COVID-19 misperceptions, 2) the mediating role of general misperceptions between INE and COVID-19 misperceptions, and 3) the moderating role of SPML in this relationship. Our results demonstrated a significant moderated mediation model, in which the association between INE and COVID-19 misperceptions was mediated through general misperceptions, and this relationship was further moderated by SPML. Specifically, among those with higher levels of SPML, the indirect effect of INE on COVID-19 misperceptions was lower compared to those with lower levels of SPML. Our findings have critical implications for INE as well as misinformation research.
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A number of mobile news apps deploy push notifications that appear on users’ locked screens and alert users to breaking news. Push notifications are theoretically important because they transcend the traditional divide between purposeful and incidental news exposure. We analyze whether push notifications affect people’s reported use of a news app and what people learn about the news. In this paper, we report on the results of a 2 (install the CNN or BuzzFeed News app) × 2 (allow notifications, do not allow notifications) experiment. Approximately two weeks after installing the app, study participants were asked to answer questions about their news use and the topics covered by the mobile notifications. Results revealed that notifications increased self-reported use of the app. There also was evidence of learning from the notifications in some instances, but not all. The research provides empirical evidence of the effects of push notifications, adding to a growing literature on mobile news effects.
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Headlines play a crucial role in attracting reader attention and encouraging visitors to click. This study used 2,623 WeChat article headlines on the Chengdu school food safety event and employed quantitative content analysis to explore the dynamic relationship of headline strategy (i.e. headline style and headline frame) and news source with user clicks at distinct phases of the issue–attention cycle. The results first revealed that various types of headline styles affect the number of user clicks based on the issue–attention phase, but no single type dominates public attention at any phase. Second, reader attention could be attracted using the information with the singleton detection mode. However, the feature search mode could filter official-oriented discourse. Third, the ‘treatment recommendation’ headline frame, which clearly summarises the core of texts, generally lacked executability and had a poor effect on audience mobilisation. Fourth, readers depended on certain media channels under low-choice media environment, and information issued by administrative sources was not widely spread because of the limitation on their functions and specific targets. Finally, news from traditional mainstream media, online communities, and independent sources were more click-attractive news than the news from other sources, thus demonstrating a complementary relationship between official reports and social media discourses.
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Online news users interact with news on digital platforms in different ways. Some take advantage of the technical affordances that allow sharing, liking and commenting, while others do not. Based on a national survey of the Australian adult online news users, this study explores online news users’ different modes of interaction on digital platforms: non-interaction, signalling interaction, and expressive interaction. This study demonstrates that different types of online news users are largely determined by a combination of structural influences and individual factors related to the uptake, reception, and dissemination of news. This study contributes to the growing body of literature on news engagement by exploring the concept of interaction as a more specific term to describe online news behaviours, and identifies different types of news users connected to, rather than disembodied from, their practice. In doing so, this article advances the understanding of news consumption behaviour and its implications for engaging news audiences in the digital age.
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This article argues for new approaches to the study of incidental exposure that better account for the role of algorithms, platforms, and processes of datafication in shaping the likelihood of news exposure online. It offers a critique of three themes prominent in the incidental exposure literature: (1) incidental exposure connotes accidental exposure to news on social media, (2) news content is ubiquitous on social media, and (3) incidental exposure can be conceptually distinguished from intentional exposure to news on social media. This article proposes a new metaphor to reframe research on incidental exposure: ‘attraction’ to news.
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This article seeks to contribute to theorizing the dynamics of incidental news consumption. Through an analysis of 200 semi-structured interviews with people in Argentina, Finland, Israel, Japan, and the United States, we show that intentionality in news consumption can be viewed on a continuum, which goes from deliberately setting apart time to access the news on specific outlets to skimming through unsought-for news on social and broadcast media, with intermediate practices such as respondents setting up an environment where they are more or less likely to encounter news. Drawing on structuration theory, this article conceptualizes incidental news in the context of the wider media environment and across multiple levels of analysis and explores how individual agency and social structure interact to shape information acquisition practices.
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Public trust in regulators is critical to the effective management of environmental risks. This study proposes a model to explicate how people’s online news exposure, perceived risk, and perceived news credibility influence their trust in regulators concerning the issue of air pollution in China. An online survey showed that perceived risk fully mediated the relationship between online news exposure and trust in regulators. Through moderating the association between online news exposure and perceived risk, perceived news credibility also moderated the indirect effect: the negative indirect effect of online news exposure on trust in regulators via perceived risk was stronger when the level of perceived news credibility was high than when it was low. The results suggest that online news that attempts to make the public more conscious of air pollution hazards reduces public trust in regulators, especially when people perceive the news as highly credible. News media are supposed to inform the public of the issue and thus help air pollution management. However, the findings alert us that the amplification of public risk perception resulting from frequent online news exposure and the subsequent decline in public trust in regulators might impede the effective regulation of air pollution.
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Over the past few decades, scholars have observed an increase in ordinary citizens as actors in everyday news coverage, mostly at the cost of elite actors. While this has been welcomed by most as democratization of news, it remains unclear in which functions citizens appear in news reports and whether they substantially add to public discourse. This special issue tries to gain greater insight into the role of ordinary citizens in the news and their conceptualization, selection, and depiction. Drawing from a multitude of research strands concerned with citizen depictions in the media, this editorial starts off by addressing some most pressing issues in this strand of research and proposes a categorization of the various forms and functions in which citizens can appear in news coverage.
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With the increasing use of algorithms in news distribution, commentators warn about its possible impacts on the changing relationship between the news media and news readers. To understand the meaning of news personalisation strategies to users, we investigated how they currently experience news personalisation, perceive their role in the personalisation process, and envision increasing the utility of personalised news by giving users more agency and fostering trust. We conducted four focus groups with online news readers in Germany. For the analysis, grounded theory techniques were suitable due to their applicability in reconstructing user perspectives through their own experiences. We found that (1) users fail to distinguish between news personalisation and commercial targeting, which may negatively bias their perception; (2) there is a contradiction in how users perceive themselves as active participants in the process, but lack the means to exercise agency; (3) user concerns extend beyond privacy to what information they receive and their right to personal autonomy—a solution requires offering users the ability to dynamically adjust their “news interest profiles”; (4) while news personalisation strategies afford new opportunities for introducing reciprocity in the media-audience relationship, negotiating competing logics of journalistic, personal and algorithmic curation remains a challenge.
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Increases in technology use, among youth and adults, are concerning given the volume of information produced and disseminated in the modern world. Conceptual models have been developed to understand how people manage the large volume of information encountered during intentional learning activities with technology. What, if anything, do people learn when they happen upon news and other information while using technology for purposes other than learning? Questions like this highlight the need to understand incidental learning, i.e., learning that occurs when people, who are pursuing a goal other than learning such as entertainment, encounter information that leads to a change in thinking or behavior. In this article, we integrate theory and research from multiple scholarly literatures into the Technology Incidental Learning Effects (TILE) model, which provides a framework for future research on how incidental learning occurs and what factors affect this process. Current research on incidental learning can be informed by educational psychology scholarship on dual-processing, motivation, interest, source evaluation, and knowledge reconstruction. The TILE model points to many promising future directions for research with direct implications for modern society, including the need to better understand how and why people move from merely noticing to engaging with incidentally exposed information as well as how to help people successfully manage the large amounts of information they encounter when using technology for purposes other than learning.
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Today, people are exposed to vast information flows while online or on social media. This abundance has led some people to believe that they no longer have to actively seek the news to be well informed about public affairs and that important news will find them through social media or other online channels. Recently, academics have offered a first theoretical account, capturing this belief as the “news finds me” perception (NFM). Initial studies have been conducted in the U.S. and Austria, indicating deleterious effects between NFM and both traditional news use and political predispositions and behaviors. This study seeks to expand this line of research, exploring the proliferation of NFM in 10 societies around the world. Findings give further insights into the degree of NFM proliferation in diverse contexts. Across societies, NFM is associated with age, social media news use, and other meaningful democratic variables such as political interest, political knowledge, and voting behavior.
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Se analizan los patrones de comportamiento que siguen los usuarios a la hora de consumir y difundir información en redes sociales, prestando especial atención a cómo influye el tipo de exposición y el tipo de red social. Se utilizó el método de muestreo de experiencias, de uso habitual para analizar la actividad en las redes sociales, que consiste en que un grupo de participantes voluntarios debe contestar, en distintos momentos temporales, a un conjunto de preguntas sobre alguna actividad que hayan realizado o alguna experiencia que hayan tenido. La muestra estuvo formada por 279 sujetos. Los resultados muestran que las noticias que requieren un mayor esfuerzo suelen compartirse en redes cerradas, mientras que en las redes abiertas se tiende a compartir información más superficial. No existen diferencias significativas entre el grado de lectura de la noticia y el tipo de red social donde se comparte; el nivel de consumo no influye en el grado de lectura de las que se comparten. Se ha comprobado que el nivel de disfrute de las noticias influye en su grado de lectura. Respecto a las diferencias entre redes, destaca el hecho de que en Facebook la frecuencia de uso influye en las dinámicas de consumo y difusión, y cómo las noticias compartidas tienen más afecto y utilidad. Por el contrario, en el caso de Twitter existe una mayor preferencia hacia las informaciones consideradas blandas.
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The consumption of news increasingly takes place in the context of social media, where users can personalize their repertoire of news through personal news curation practices such as following a journalistic outlet on Twitter or blocking news content from a Facebook friend. This article examines the prevalence and predictors of curation practices that have the potential to boost or limit social media news exposure. Results from a representative online survey distributed across thirty-six countries demonstrate that more than half of all news users on social media engage in such practices. Significant predictors of news-boosting curation are news interest and the willingness to engage in other news-related activities on social media. News-limiting practices on social media are linked to general news avoidance and, in the case of the US, political extremism, which might decrease the chances of incidental news exposure. News-boosting and news-limiting curation practices relate to a wider and more diverse repertoire of news sources online. Personal news curation practices can be conceptualized as forms of news engagement that have the potential to complement or counteract algorithmic news selection or partisan selective exposure, yet, these practices can also solidify existing divides in news use related to interest and avoidance.
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Research revolving social media and democracy has exploded. For almost two decades, scholarship has offered new theories, revisited some old ones, and provided empirical evidence that helped cast a strong light on social media effects over people’s social life, and democracy at large. Thanks to social media, citizens consume news, express their political views, discuss political matters, and participate in political activities. However, social media also cultivates the dissemination of fake news and misinformation, exposure to hate speech, media fragmentation, and political polarization. In short, social media seems to simultaneously be a springboard for encouraging and undesirable outcomes that foster and challenge democracies alike. One of these phenomena that stems from social media news use is the News Finds Me perception (NFM), which takes place when individuals feel they do not have to actively seeks news any more to be well-informed about public affairs, as they expect to receive relevant news and information by relying on their peers in social media. This article traces back the origin of the theory, its evolution, and the set of effects found in the literature. It also presents guidelines for future research and potential challenges as the scholarship centering on NFM continues to grow.
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Qualitative content analysis: theoretical foundation, basic procedures and software solution Mayring, Philipp Erstveröffentlichung / Primary Publication Monographie / monograph Empfohlene Zitierung / Suggested Citation: Mayring, Philipp : Qualitative content analysis: theoretical foundation, basic procedures and software solution. Klagenfurt, 2014. URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-395173 Nutzungsbedingungen: Dieser Text wird unter einer CC BY-NC-ND Lizenz (Namensnennung-Nicht-kommerziell-Keine Bearbeitung) zur Verfügung gestellt. Nähere Auskünfte zu den CC-Lizenzen finden Sie hier: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ Terms of use: This document is made available under a CC BY-NC-ND Licence (Attribution Non Comercial-NoDerivatives). For more Information see: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/
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Prior research has demonstrated a preference among partisans for like-minded news outlets, a key mechanism through which the media may be polarizing Americans. But in order for source reputations to cause widespread selective exposure, individuals must prioritize them above other competing attributes of news content. Evaluating the relative in-fluence of various contributors to media choice is therefore critical. This study pits two such factors, source reputation and topic relevance, against one another in conjoint survey experiments offering randomly paired news items to partisans. Making a news source's reputation politically unfriendly lowers the probability that an individual chooses an item, but this negative effect is often eclipsed by the positive effect of making a news topic relevant to the individual. In many popular modern news consumption environments, where consumers encounter a diverse mixture of sources and topics, the ability of source reputations to contribute to polarization via partisan selective exposure is limited. © 2016 by the Southern Political Science Association. All rights reserved.
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While a growing body of literature examines exposure to social, news, and political information via social media, we have little understanding of how users delineate these categories. In this study, we develop over 100 discrete Facebook stimuli varying these topics, and then test to what extent and which users match our definition of those posts. Our results suggest that users and researchers often agree on defining social and political content, but are more likely to disagree in categorizing news content. Therefore, researchers should carefully define all concepts—especially news—when considering prevalence and effects on social media users.
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With the emergence and rapid acceptance of online news come new and varied opportunities for user engagement with content, along with alternative metrics for capturing those behaviors. This study focuses on interactive engagement with online news videos. We propose a theoretical framework for conceptualizing user engagement on a continuum from exposure to interactivity. Furthermore, we make a distinction between user–content (e.g. commenting) and user–user (e.g. replying to another user’s comment) modes of interaction. We then explore publicly available measures of these concepts and test a series of hypotheses to explore commenting and conversational behaviors in response to YouTube news videos. We conclude by discussing the theoretical and practical implications for advancing our understanding of user engagement with online news.
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News media are increasingly using Facebook as a platform for distribution and user interaction. This article focuses on how Dutch media use Facebook and how audiences participate. By using Facebook, media outsource part of their distribution to a third party platform, avoiding maintenance costs while also hoping for additional revenues because of the increased website traffic. Results indicate that offline and online presence of legacy media do not predict their footprint on Facebook. Media do not seem to have a clear strategy on using Facebook, which leads to an underperformance on the social media platform with low participation and minimal interaction. As users like' media and share' stories, audience distribution' would be a better term to describe these practices than audience participation'.
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The concerns about the consequences of mental problems related to use of social media among university students have recently raised consciousness about a relatively new phenomenon termed Fear of Missing Out (FoMO). Drawing on the self-determination theory and on the assumption that low levels of basic need satisfaction may relate to FoMO and social media engagement, the aim of the present research was to examine for the first time possible links between FoMO, social media engagement, and three motivational constructs: Intrinsic, extrinsic and amotivation for learning. Data were gathered from 296 undergraduate students by using the following scales: Social Media Engagement (SME), Fear of Missing Out (FoMOs) and Academic Motivation. The SME is a new scale, specifically designed for this study to measure the extent to which students used social media in the classroom. This scale includes three categories: Social engagement, news information engagement and commercial information engagement. Path analysis results indicated that the positive links between social media engagement and two motivational factors: Extrinsic and amotivation for learning are more likely to be mediated by FoMO. Interpretation of these results, their congruence within the context of the theoretical frameworks and practical implications are discussed.
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In response to the popularity of social networking sites, newspapers are distributing content through Facebook and Twitter. Yet the role of social media in these newspapers' overall business model remains unclear at best. Are they repeating the same “mistake” seen in their Web experiment by seeking eyeballs before locating a revenue stream, giving content away for free, and granting audience access to aggregators? Analyzing the top 66 US newspapers' social media presence, this study empirically examines the effectiveness of Facebook and Twitter as news platforms. As of 2012, the distribution of newspaper content through social networking sites has become a common practice. Twitter is more effective than Facebook in terms of audience reach. While the results indicate a positive relationship among newspapers' Facebook, Twitter, Web, and print readerships, social media subscribers continue to represent a small fraction of print and Web users. Despite the hype about the potential of social media sites as news delivery channels, the magnitude of their contribution to Web traffic and advertising revenue seems underwhelming.
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The growing use of social media like Facebook and Twitter is in the process of changing how news is produced, disseminated, and discussed. But so far, we have only a preliminary understanding of (1) how important social media are as sources of news relative to other media, (2) the extent to which people use them to find news, (3) how many use them to engage in more participatory forms of news use, and (4) whether these developments are similar within countries with otherwise comparable levels of technological development. Based on data from a cross-country online survey of news media use, we present a comparative analysis of the relative importance of social media for news in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, covering eight developed democracies with different media systems. We show that television remains both the most widely used and most important source of news in all these countries, and that even print newspapers are still more widely used and seen as more important sources of news than social media. We identify a set of similarities in terms of the growing importance of social media as part of people’s cross-media news habits, but also important country-to-country differences, in particular in terms of how widespread the more active and participatory forms of media use are. Surprisingly, these differences do not correspond to differences in levels of internet use, suggesting that more than mere availability shapes the role of social media as parts of people’s news habits.
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This is why you should read this article. Although such an opening statement does not make much sense read in isolation, journalists often write headlines like this on news websites. They use the forward-referring technique as a stylistic and narrative luring device trying to induce anticipation and curiosity so the readers click (or tap on) the headline and read on. In this article, we map the use of forward-referring headlines in online news journalism by conducting an analysis of 100,000 headlines from 10 different Danish news websites. The results show that commercialization and tabloidization seem to lead to a recurrent use of forward-reference in Danish online news headlines. In addition, the article contributes to reference theory by expanding previous models on phoricity to include multimodal references on the web.