ArticlePDF Available

Reading is remembering: The effect of reading versus watching news on memory and metamemory.


Abstract and Figures

From which news medium can audiences acquire information best? To what extent does the news source affect receivers’ feelings of knowing? Will the effect of a news source on confidence in knowledge, stay overtime? Exposure to either print or electronic news media is a daily habit for an average person in today’s world. Computerized news transmitted via networks and online services led to more diversification in news presentations. Such diversity inspired many scholars to investigate the comparative effectiveness of news media on memory processes. The study reported here examines the effect of exposure to different news media on the variance in subjects’ levels of recall immediately after exposure and two hours later. The three media used in the experiment are television, newspapers, and computer. Special attention to subjects’ metamemory or their awareness of what they have learned is also given in this paper. Metamemory is tested immediately after exposure, and two hours later.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Speaker & Gavel
Volume 42 |Issue 1 Article 6
January 2005
Reading is Remembering: e Eect of Reading vs.
Watching News on Memory and Metamemory
Hesham M. Mesbah
Rollins College,
Follow this and additional works at: h=p://
Part of the Communication Technology and New Media Commons, and the Mass
Communication Commons
<is Article is brought to you for free and open access by Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University,
Mankato. It has been accepted for inclusion in Speaker & Gavel by an authorized administrator of Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative
Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Recommended Citation
Mesbah, H. (2005). Reading is Remembering: <e E;ect of Reading vs. Watching News on Memory and Metamemory. Speaker &
Gavel, 42, 47-57.
Speaker & Gavel 2005 47
Speaker and Gavel, Vol 42 (2005)
Reading is Remembering
The Effect of Reading vs. Watching News on Memory
and Metamemory
Hesham M. Mesbah
From which news medium can audiences acquire information best? To what
extent does the news source affect receivers’ feelings of knowing? Will the ef-
fect of a news source on confidence in knowledge, if any, stay over time?
Exposure to either print or electronic news media is a daily habit for an av-
erage person in today’s world. Computerized news transmitted via networks and
online services led to more diversification in news presentations. Such diversity
inspired many scholars to investigate the comparative effectiveness of news
media on memory processes. The study reported here examines the effect of
exposure to different news media on the variance in subjects’ levels of recall
immediately after exposure and two hours later. The three media used in the
experiment are television, newspapers, and computer. Special attention to sub-
jects’ metamemory, or their awareness of what they have learned is also given in
this paper. Metamemory is tested immediately after exposure, and two hours
McLuhan (1964: 22) argued that effectiveness of any source of information
is determined by their mechanical nature. He defined radio as a “hot” medium as
it extends one single sense in "high definition” and is low in “receivers’ partici-
pation,” whereas he identified television as a cool medium that gives out little
visual information compared to the movie. Therefore, a hot medium like radio
has very different effects on the user from a cool medium.
However, the reason behind this comparative effectiveness of news sources
might be more multifaceted than McLuhan puts it. The mechanical nature of a
given news medium is one thing; and its contextual features that characterize
exposure to it is another thing. A newspaper occupies space and is there when-
ever needed, whereas broadcast media are volatile. Some experimental studies
sought to control this factor. Stauffer et al. (1980) divided their subjects into
viewers, listeners, and readers. Each group was exposed once to a variety of
news stories. The readers were not allowed to read the story more than once, yet
they showed better levels of recall. Applying a similar design, Gunter and his
colleagues (1984) came up with consistent findings.
Wicks and Drew (1986), on the other hand, did not find differences between
television and newspapers in terms of subsequent recall levels. They attributed
this equality between the two media to the experimental conditions that differ
from normal exposure at home. Accordingly, contextual factors might not be
sufficient in explaining this variance in news recall among news consumers. In a
later study, Wicks (1995) found out that subjects exposed to certain televised
news stories recorded higher recall scores immediately after exposure and two
48 Speaker & Gavel 2005
Speaker and Gavel, Vol 42 (2005)
days later. He suggests that televised images might have this potential of stimu-
lating accelerated recall better than do equivalent newspaper stories .
Another group of studies revealed that “cognitive processing requirements”
explain the superiority of printed materials over electronically presented materi-
als. The process of reading requires more cognitive effort, and this results in
better levels of knowledge acquisition. Gavriel Solomon (1984) found that
learning from printed materials was better than learning from television among
children. He based his explanation for this result on the way children perceive
both media. Television for them is an easy medium that does not require the
same cognitive effort exerted while reading. Kathy Pezdek and her colleagues
(1987) showed similar results among adults. This might explain the evidence
from the accumulated literature that reflects the superiority of newspaper presen-
tations over televised presentations (M. DeFleur et al., 1992; D. Graber, 1988;
McLeod et al., 1982; E. Wilson, 1974). In a more recent experiment comparing
television and print news, Gunter and colleagues (2001) found that children
learn most from television, whereas adults learn most from print. The superior
recall of print news observed with adults was attributed to “the fact that print
offers more opportunity to exercise control over the processing of information
than television does,” whereas children could show better memory performance
with redundant televised news presentations. Comparing children’s recall of
news stories in print , photos, and audio formats, Walma and Tom (2000), indi-
cated that the television presentation was recalled better than any of the other
According to the concept of “cognitive processing requirements” newspa-
pers are cognitively superior because they are read, not because of the context in
which they are consumed. When an electronic medium is apt to be read, rather
than watched, newspaper’s superiority is expected to be at stake. DeFleur and
his colleagues (1992) found that the levels of recall from newspaper versus
computer screen presentations did not differ significantly, whereas the print me-
dia were significantly more effective than the broadcast media. However, most
studies that experimentally examined the comparative effectiveness of news
sources used the “talking head” format in presenting television news to control
for the effect of picture (M. DeFleur, 1992; B. Gunter, 1989; W. Dommermuth,
1974; Ogilvie, 1957). When pictures accompanied television presentations,
memory performance changed. Furnham and Gunter (1985) found that memory
for violent news was better among male subjects who watched it on television
compared to those who were exposed to the same content via newspapers or
radio. Wicks and Drew (1991), using news stories that offered congruence be-
tween audio and video, failed to support research showing that television leads
to less information gain than newspapers. The body of findings is inconsistent,
however. DeFleur and Cronin (1991), using a visual story versus a printed ver-
sion, reported that subjects in the newspaper presentation passed on more details
more accurately than those in the television group.
This presents study examines the relative effectiveness of print versus elec-
tronic news media using a television news story accompanied by redundant
video track. Building on the notion of ‘cognitive requirements’, it is expected
Mesbah: Reading is Remembering: The Effect of Reading vs. Watching News o
Published by Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato, 2005
Speaker & Gavel 2005 49
Speaker and Gavel, Vol 42 (2005)
that subjects who read the news in either newspaper or computer presentations
would show better performance than those who watch the same news story. Fur-
thermore, the style of news writing (inverted pyramid vs. narrative reporting) is
sought to be controlled by presenting the written version of news story in both
H1: Verbal recognition scores will be significantly higher for news that is
‘read’ than for news that is ‘watched’.
The comparative effectiveness of different media as sources of news might
be explained according to how much individuals are confident in what they learn
from each medium. Certain news media might be perceived as prestigious, seri-
ous, or deep, whereas other media are considered common or entertaining by
definition. This raises two questions here: (1) does confidence in news recall
vary according to the type of news source used? (2) Is there a relationship be-
tween confidence in answers and levels of memory performance?
Various studies suggest that there is a relationship between people’s confi-
dence in their performance and their accuracy. Lichtenstein and Fischhoff
(1977) reported improved confidence-accuracy calibration. They concluded that
the confidence-accuracy relationship is likely to be best calibrated at about 80%
accuracy levels. There is a marked degree of agreement in the cognitive litera-
ture that there is a moderate yet robust positive relation between subjects’ confi-
dence evaluations and their performance (Perfect et. Al., 1993:144). Schneider
and Laurion (1993), testing memory for radio news, reported strong positive
confidence-accuracy relationships.
H2: Levels of verbal recognition scores of news facts will be affected by
levels of subjects’ confidence in their answers.
To date, investigators have rarely examined whether levels of confidence in
retrieval are affected by the type of news source. Such a psychological factor
may add to explaining the comparative effects of news media. New news
sources, such as computers, are perceived as a novelty by many receivers in
Egypt. Accordingly, acquiring information via computers might lead to higher
levels of feeling-of-knowing reflections. Consequently, the third hypothesis is
formulated as follows:
H3: There is a significant relationship between the kind of news source and
subjects feeling of knowing.
On the other hand, does the variance in confidence levels according to the
type of news source used hold over time? Hovland and Weiss (1951) reported
that the effect of the message source on opinion change tends to dissolve over
time. When subjects were tested four weeks after the experiment, the percentage
of those exposed to a high credibility source who had changed their opinions
decreased. The percentage of opinion change among those exposed to a low
50 Speaker & Gavel 2005
Speaker and Gavel, Vol 42 (2005)
credibility source tended to increase in the second test. The authors termed this
the “sleeper effect”. In a later experiment conducted by Kelman and Hovland
(1953), similar results were reported. It has been predicted that although the
subjects might have not forgotten the source, they apparently had dissociated the
content from the source of communication.
The sleeper effect did not receive much attention in memory studies, how-
ever. Long-term memory was tested to either assess retrieval of stimuli that were
not recalled shortly after exposure (reminiscence), or examine improvement in
recall over time (hypermnesia). Effect of type of source on long-term recall still
needs to be clarified. By the same token, different levels of confidence in an-
swers caused by exposure to different kinds of news sources are susceptible to
change significantly over time. Applying the sleeper effect perspective, informa-
tion may be stored in and retrieved from long-term memory in isolation from its
H4: There is a significant difference in the degree of confidence in answers
between the first test immediately after exposure and the second test
two hours later.
One hundred and twenty subjects volunteered to participate in the experi-
ment. All subjects were senior students studying mass communication at Cairo
University. Subjects were 90 females and 30 males who took the memory test
immediately after exposure and two hours later.
Design and Stimulus Material
Using name rosters of students, subjects were randomly assigned to four
groups. Each group comprised 30 Ss who were exposed to one news story pre-
sented through different media according to the experimental conditions.
The news story used in the experiment consisted of approximately 300
words. It is actually a news report on AIDS in the world, which was broadcast
on the Egyptian television in April 1996. Different criteria were used in select-
ing this particular story material for the experiment. First, previous exposure
will be controlled as the story was aired years ago. Second, subjects’ back-
ground knowledge will be ruled out as well, because all the facts and figures
mentioned in the story are now history or have changed dramatically. Third, the
global nature of the topic dealt with in the story is of general interest that is not
restricted to the local community.
This televised news story was transcribed and printed in a column format
and font characteristic of newspapers. Two versions of the story were presented
in the newspaper form. The first one was just a typical recitation of the voice
over of the story. This format was termed ‘the broadcast-style printed version’.
The other version was edited according to print journalism standards. Two spe-
cialized news editors were asked to rewrite the story in the print format using
typically the same information and words in the original story. Another version
Speaker & Gavel, Vol. 42, Iss. 1 [2005], Art. 6
Speaker & Gavel 2005 51
Speaker and Gavel, Vol 42 (2005)
of the story was prepared using the computer. The story was written in its origi-
nal format and it occupied 36 lines on the screen.
Each subject was told at the beginning of the experiment that she/he would
be asked several general questions on the news story presented. Subjects were
not allowed to take any notes during reading or viewing the story. They either
read or viewed the material just once. Subjects in the newspaper and the com-
puter conditions were closely watched by the experimenters to make sure that
the instructions were clear and thoroughly followed. Two hours later, subjects
were asked to take the same recognition and confidence test again. During the
time lapse between the two tests, the students were seated for a lecture on a to-
tally different topic. This was done to prevent any interpersonal communication
among the students concerning the experiment or the story presented.
Memory was measured by giving the students a twelve-item multiple choice
test on the content of the presented news story. The total number of the correct
answers on this test was the measure of aided recall for factual information in
the experiment.
As subjects answered each multiple-choice item, they also rated to what ex-
tent they were confident that their answer was correct. This was done using a 5-
point-Likert type scale, ranging from not at all sure (1), to completely sure (5).
Analysis and Results
Effect of source. The mean recognition score immediately after exposure for the
news story was calculated for each group. The findings showed consistency with
research literature that reveals superior cognitive effects of written materials.
Readers in both computer and newspaper presentations showed better perform-
ance on the test.
Table 1: ANOVA of Immediate Memory According to Type of News Source
P Probabil-
F Ra-
Source of
0.01 3.86 3
groups 116
Within groups 119
Subjects in the computer group remembered the story best (M=8.23). Those
who read the story written in broadcast style were able to remember details
(M=8.17) more than those who read the story written according to the traditional
Inverted Pyramid style (M=7.77). Memory performance was at its lowest among
those in the television group (M=6.73).
Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to examine the significance of
difference between these different levels of immediate memory.
52 Speaker & Gavel 2005
Speaker and Gavel, Vol 42 (2005)
As Table 1 illustrates, the effect of type of news source produced a statisti-
cally significant difference (F= 3.86, p< 0.01) supporting the hypothesis that
differences between groups in terms of news recall are statistically significant.
In order to identify whether each medium differed significantly from each other,
Benferroni test with significance level 0.05 was further run (see Table 2).
Table 2: Significant Differences Between Groups (Benferroni Test)
Newspaper Television Medium Mean
Television 6.73 Newspaper 7.77 * Broadcast Style 8.17 * Computer 8.23
*Denotes significance in difference between new media
The data in Table 2 supports the hypothesis that subjects’ recognition scores
in the ‘reading condition’ are significantly higher than those in the viewing con-
dition. However, only two groups who read the story (computer (M= 8.23) and
broadcast style (M= 8.17) presentations) showed significantly better memory
performance than subjects in the television group (M= 6.73). No significant dif-
ference was detected between the television group and the newspaper group
(M= 7.77). This suggests that “reading” the news is more cognitively effective
than “watching” it.
Table 3: ANOVA of Delayed Memory Scores according to News Media
F Probability F Ratio df
Source of variance 0.12 1.96 3 Between groups 116 Within groups 119 Total
Delayed memory and news source. The influence of the type of news source
was not found when subjects’ recognition memory was tested again after two
hours. As Table 3 suggests, there is no significant difference between groups in
terms of recognition memory performance two hours after exposure to the news
story (F= 1.96, p> 0.12). Mean of correct answers in each group in both tests is
displayed in Table 4.
Mesbah: Reading is Remembering: The Effect of Reading vs. Watching News o
Published by Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato, 2005
Speaker & Gavel 2005 53
Speaker and Gavel, Vol 42 (2005)
Table 4: Mean Recognition Scores for News Facts varied by Source of News
and Time of Testing
(time 2)
(time 1)
News source
7.10 6.73 Television 7.79 7.77 Print
8.23 8.17
format 8.00 8.23 Computer
Memory performance in both the “TV” and “print” groups improved
slightly when retested. Although memory for news facts was better for “read”
materials, superiority of written presentation of news was not confirmed statisti-
cally when delayed memory was tested. This could be explained according to
the familiarity of the test. In the second time, the students were more familiar
with the multiple-choice questions. Reading the items again might have trig-
gered long-term memory traces and led to almost equal performance among the
four groups.
Memory-confidence relationship. Analysis of subjects’ metamemory suggests
that they are primarily aware of what they know. Aggregate score of confidence
ratings correlated significantly with total number of correct answers in both im-
mediate test of memory (r= 0.57, p< 0.001) and delayed test (r=0.55, p< 0.001).
This result supports the hypothesis that subjects’ feeling of knowing positively
correlates with their levels of memory performance.
News source and metamemory. Subjects differed in their degrees of confidence
in answers according to the type of news source. Differences were greater in the
first test (time 1), whereas in the second test (time 2) the gap tended to be closer
(see Table 5).
Table 5: Mean Confidence Scores Varied according to Medium and Time
M time 2) M (time 1) News source 41.03 39.87 Television
45.30 43.67
format 44.47 45.10 Computer 45.03 45.50 Print
In both tests, television was the least initiator of the feeling of knowing
among the four groups. The other written presentations of the same news story
contributed to higher levels of confidence, however. Analysis of variance was
used to examine the significance of differences in subjects’ metamemory based
on medium and time of testing.
54 Speaker & Gavel 2005
Speaker and Gavel, Vol 42 (2005)
The data supports the hypothesis that both style of news presentation and
time of testing exert effects on subjects’ metamemory (see Table 6).
Table 6: Analysis of Variance in Confidence Scores According to Medium
and Time
Time 2
F Ratio p
Time 1
F Ratio p
Source of
variance 1.97 0.12 4.19 0.007 3 Between groups 116 Within 119 Total
Significant differences in levels of confidence were uncovered immediately
after exposure, whereas no such significance was detected when subjects were
tested two hours later (F= 4.19, p< 0.007 at time1; F= 1.97, p> 0.12 at time2). In
other words, the effect of medium on feeling of knowing tended to diminish
over time.
The study aimed at examining the effect of the news source on both mem-
ory performance and feeling of knowing. The results show consistency with
previous research in showing superiority of written news over televised news.
Reading news via a computer screen or a newspaper is a cognitively more de-
manding task that results in better levels of memory recognition. Subjects who
read the news story either on a computer screen or via a traditional newspaper
clipping showed a significantly higher level of recognition compared to the tele-
vision groups. On the other hand, memory performance in the “newspaper”
group and “computer” group was almost similar. This finding is consistent with
the body of literature that shows similar cognitive effects of reading the news
via printed materials or the screen. For example, Sundar and colleagues (1998)
examined memory from print and online versions of a newspaper article. The
found no significant differences in memory for news across different media. The
structure of reading the news in both the “newspaper” and “computer” condi-
tions was linear, reading from beginning to end. Adding the structural norm in
hypermedia to computerized news text is expected to introduce some variance in
memory performance, however. Several studies showed that print conditions
have higher memory scores than other nonlinear conditions (Eveland and Dun-
woody, 2001b; Tewksbury and Althaus, 2000).
This could be explained according to how highly subjects evaluate com-
puter as a sophisticated source of news that is handled with attention. This might
also explain the high levels of confidence in answers among the computer
Moreover, the study reveals that the traditional format of IP (Inverted
Pyramid) is not necessarily the most relevant for writing print news. Many fea-
ture and human interest stories are better formulated in the narrative style com-
mon in currently in both print and broadcast journalism.
Speaker & Gavel, Vol. 42, Iss. 1 [2005], Art. 6
Speaker & Gavel 2005 55
Speaker and Gavel, Vol 42 (2005)
On the other hand, the delayed test of memory showed equality among the
different news sources utilized in the study. Performance among the television
group was improved to be almost similar to the other groups. Confidence in an-
swers was not an exception. Repeated testing of the subjects might be responsi-
ble for this leveling. When taking the test again, subjects might have performed
inner rehearsals that facilitated retrieval of correct answers in time 2.
Finally, the sleeper effect materialized significantly in the study. When sub-
jects were tested immediately after exposure, they showed varying degrees of
confidence in their answers. Confidence-accuracy relationship appeared to be
positively significant.
When tested two hours later, confidence levels turned out to be almost equal
among the four groups. Applying the concept of the sleeper effect, subjects
might have associated information with its source in the first test, whereas dis-
sociation was more prevalent in the second test. When dissociation took place,
confidence scores were leveled out, and the effect of the type of news source on
the feeling of knowing was neutralized.
On the other hand, the results suggest that while broadcast news media are
gaining popularity and prominence, they are less effective in initiating stronger
memory traces for the news compared to print materials or the news that are
presented in a "written" format. Consequently, broadcast news could strive for
more effectiveness by using additional techniques such as captions, superim-
posed statements, figures, and excerpts. Television news stories need to be "ver-
balized" as much as they have been "visualized." The use of factoids (lists of
boiled-down facts) inside the televised news items could be one of the answers.
On the other hand, the writing styles for different news media should be devel-
oped to meet the requirements of new technologies. Although print and online
journalism are organized in space, they do have inherent dissimilarities that dic-
tate the use of different news writing styles for both media. Professionals agree
that he Inverted pyramid style is more suitable for print news, whereas the
square format is more relevant to broadcast news. Agreement on the most suit-
able writing style for online news is still lacking, however.
DeFleur, M. & Cronin, M. (1991). Completeness and accuracy of recall in the
diffusion of the news from a newspaper vs. a television source. Sociological
Inquiry, 61, 148-166.
DeFleur, M. L., Davenport, L., Cronin, M., & DeFleur, M. (1992). Audience
recall of news stories presented by newspaper, computer, television, and ra-
dio. Journalism Quarterly, 69, 1010-1022.
Dommermuth, P. (1974). How does the medium affect the message? Journalism
Quarterly, 51, 441-447.
Eveland, W. P., Jr., & Dunwoody, S. (2001b). User control and structural iso-
morphism or disorientation and cognitive load? Learning from the Web ver-
sus print. Communication Research, 28, 48-78.
56 Speaker & Gavel 2005
Speaker and Gavel, Vol 42 (2005)
Fox, D. F. (1964). “Clues for advertising strategies” in Dexter L. A. & David M.
White (Eds.). People, society, and Mass Communication. London: Free
Furnham, A., & Gunter, B. (1985). Sex, presentation mode and memory for vio-
lent and non-violent news. Journal of Educational Television, 11, 99-105.
Gunter, B., Furnham, A., & Gietson, G. (1984). Memory for the news as a func-
tion of the channel of communication. Human Learning, 3, 265-271.
Hovland, C. C. & Weiss, W. (1951). The influence of source credibility on
communication effectiveness. Public Opinion Quarterly, 17, 635-650.
Kelman, H. C. & Hovland, C. C. (1953). Reinstatement of the communication in
delayed measurement of opinion change. Journal of Abnormal and Social
Psychology, 48,327-335.
Lichtenstein & Fichhoff, B. (1977). Do those who know more also know more
about how much they know? Organizational Behavior and Human Per-
formance, 26, 149-174.
McLuhan, M. (1964). Understanding the Media: The extension of man. New
York: McGraw Hill.
Perfect, T. J., Watsman, Emma L., & Wagstaff, G. F. (1993). Accuracy of con-
fidence ratings associated with general knowledge and eyewitness memory.
Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 144-147.
Pezdek, K., Simon, S., Stoeckert, J., & Kiely, J. (1987). Individual differences in
television comprehension. Memory & cognition, 15 (5), 428-435.
Schneider, S. L. & Laurion, S. K. (1993). Do we know what we’ve learned from
listening to the news? Memory & Cognition, 21(2), 198-209.
Solmon, G. (1984). TV is ‘easy’ and print is ‘tough’: The role of perception and
attribution in the processing of material. Journalism of Educational Psy-
chology, 76, 647-658.
Stauffer, J., Frost, R., & Rybolt, W. (1980). Recall and comprehension of radio
news in Kenya. Journalism Quarterly, 57, 612-617.
Sundar, S. S., Narayan, S., Obregon, R., & Uppal, C. (1998). Does web advertis-
ing work? Memory for print vs. online media. Journalism & Mass Commu-
nication Quarterly, 75, 822-835.
Tewksbury, D., & Althaus, S. (2000). Differences in knowledge acquisition
among readers of the paper and online versions of a national newspaper.
Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 77, 457-497.
Walma van der Molen, J. H., & van der Voort, T. H. A. (2000). The impact of
television, print, and audio on children's recall of the news: A study of three
alternative explanations for the dual-coding hypothesis. Human Communi-
cation Research, 26(1), 3-26.
Wicks, R. (1995). Remembering the news: effects of medium and message dis-
crepancy on news recall over time. Journalism & Mass Communication
Quarterly, 72 (3), 666-681.
Wicks, R. H., & Drew, D. G. (1991). Learning from news: Effects of message
consistency and medium on recall and inference making. Journalism Quar-
terly, 68, 155-164.
Mesbah: Reading is Remembering: The Effect of Reading vs. Watching News o
Published by Cornerstone: A Collection of Scholarly and Creative Works for Minnesota State University, Mankato, 2005
Speaker & Gavel 2005 57
Speaker and Gavel, Vol 42 (2005)
Hesham M. Mesbah, Dept. of Journalism &Mass Communication, Kuwait Univer-
sity This paper has been presented at the 28th Southeast Colloquium of the As-
sociation for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication held at Little
Rock, Arkansas, March 6-8, 2002. The paper was recognized by the “Newspa-
pers division” with Honorable Mention.
Speaker & Gavel, Vol. 42, Iss. 1 [2005], Art. 6
... Reading about the same content does not have the same effect. Despite that, Mesbah (2005) reveals people are likely to remember long term information from reading a story rather than watching it. ...
Full-text available
This dissertation examines the processes involved in television news construction relating to negative news. Negative news is the term used in this research to describe bad or tragic news reports. The research explores negative news seeing if it is intentionally chosen by producers. The research additionally looks at the psychological effects negative news has on viewers and wishes to discover if individuals suffer any emotional impact from watching it. Regarding research methods, both qualitative and quantitative methods are utilised, consisting of two interviews with journalists, a content analysis of news, a focus group and an online survey. A major finding of the research suggests both news journalists and viewers agree that the tone of news coverage is predominantly negative. It likewise reveals news media have a leaning towards broadcasting negative news over positive news. The results further indicate journalists are constrained in what they can achieve and must report on what they are told to. Moreover, there is evidence tragic news stories can be displayed in a dramatic entertaining manner. The research finally shows people experience damaging psychological effects from watching the news.
... 3 We used multilevel path analysis in Mplus 8 (Muthén & Muthén, 2017), modeling hypothesized effects with random slopes (e.g., Koopman et al., 2020b;Wang et al., 2011). Level 1 2 In alignment with URT, which views information seeking as an active and agentic coping strategy, items measured whether employees read the news from either social media, instant messages, or from a newspaper or news website as reading is a more active and involved consumption method (Mesbah, 2005). Importantly, this omits consumption from listening to or watching the news, as these are more passive consumption methods (Van Cauwenberge et al., 2014). ...
Full-text available
Uncertainty is a defining feature of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, because uncertainty is an aversive state, uncertainty reduction theory (URT) holds that employees try to manage it by obtaining information. To date, most evidence for the effectiveness of obtaining information to reduce uncertainty stems from research conducted in relatively stable contexts wherein employees can acquire consistent information. Yet, research on crises and news consumption provides reasons to believe that the potential for information to mitigate uncertainty as specified by URT may break down during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Integrating URT with research on crises and news consumption, we predict that consuming news information during crises-which tends to be distressing, constantly evolving, and inconsistent-will be positively related to uncertainty. This in turn may have negative implications for employee goal progress and creativity; two work outcomes that take on substantial significance in times of uncertainty and the pandemic. We further predict that death anxiety will moderate this relationship, such that the link between employees' news consumption and uncertainty is stronger for those with lower levels of death anxiety, compared to those with higher levels. We test our theorizing via an experience-sampling study with 180 full-time employees, with results providing support for our conceptual model. Our study reveals important theoretical and practical implications regarding information consumption during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
Full-text available
This study examines the effect of mode of listening to radio news on cognitive processes. An experimental design using 82 undergraduates from Kuwait University was employed to test the research hypotheses. The stimulus is a real newscast that was recorded and manipulated into four versions in line with the research problem: Traditional radio newscast, online newscast played with one click, linear interactive netcast with a click for each news item, and a support activity condition in which additional links for details were added to each link. The study showed that nonlinear news listening yields better levels of news recall and comprehension. Moderate levels of interactivity on sites of radio news caused better memory performance compared to lower and higher levels of interactivity.
Full-text available
Relative to traditional newspapers, Internet-based papers provide fewer cues about news story importance and give readers more control over story selection. As a result, readers of an online paper may acquire less information about national, international, and political events than would print paper readers. This article reports the results of a multi-day experiment which compared the differential effects of exposure to print and online versions of the New York Times. Online readers of the Times appear to have read fewer national, international, and political news stories and were less likely to recognize and recall events that occurred during the exposure period.
Full-text available
User control theory predicts that providing freedom in learning increases learning compared to traditional instruction, implying that the Web is more effective for learning than print. Theorists have also argued that navigation through Web sites mimics the associative nature of human memory and information processing—structural isomorphism—suggesting Web superiority. However, studies indicate that hypermedia increases cognitive load and produces disorientation, implying that hypermedia increases cognitive load and produces disorientation, implying that the Web would be less effective for learning than would print. An experiment comparing learning in print versus several Web site designs demonstrated that learning from print as measured by recognition is better than learning from linear and nonlinear Web designs but no different from a design including advisement. No significant differences across media conditions were found using cued recall as the measure of learning. Additional findings suggest that cognitive load inhibits learning, whereas Web expertise facilitates it. Curiously, a learning motivation tended to reduce learning.
This study reports results of a large-scale experiment in which subjects were exposed to news stories presented by one of four media. The goal was to provide both baseline data and a reasonably definitive answer as to the relative level of recall resulting from presentations by newspapers, computer screen, television and radio while controlling for other factors. Facts from news stories presented by newspaper or computer screen were recalled at a significantly higher level than were facts from the same stories when presented via radio or television. Somewhat surprisingly, results from computer screens were closer to newspapers than to television.
Recent research has shown that children remember more from television news than from print news, a finding that has been explained by the extra mnemonic support offered by redundant television pictures (the dual-coding hypothesis). The present study was designed to examine three alternative explanations, which attribute children's superior recall of television news to (a) underutilization of the print medium, (b) a recall advantage of listening compared with reading, and (c) imperfect reading ability. A sample of 192 fourth and sixth graders was presented with children's news stories, either in (a) their original television form, (b) a bare print version, (c) a print version supplemented with photo material, or in (d) an audio version. Results indicated that the television presentation was remembered better than any of the other three versions. The results of the study were consistent with the dual-coding hypothesis, whereas no support was found for the alternative explanations tested in the study.
A sample of 68 university undergraduates were presented with a sequence of violent and nonviolent news stories either audiovisually (via television), in audio only or in print. Subjects were tested for cued recall of story content immediately after presentation. There was a significant main effect of presentation mode: recall of news was best from print and worst in the audiovisual condition. Significant interaction occurred between sex, mode and news type: males recalled violent news better than non‐violent news, while for females the reverse was true. Males also recalled violent news much better than females in the audiovisual mode, but no such difference occurred in any other mode. Results indicate that reading the news can produce better retention than listening to or watching it. Furthermore, the presentation of violent news stories audiovisually (on videotape) can produce especially impaired memory performance among female viewers.
In a new test of the process of forgetting, the authors found that subjects, at the time of exposure, discounted material from “untrustworthy” sources. In time, however, the subjects tended to disassociate the content and the source with the result that the original scepticism faded and the “untrustworthy” material was accepted. Lies, in fact, seemed to be remembered better than truths.
This article suggests a theoretical explanation of the processes related to recall and learning of media news information. It does so by linking the concepts of schematic thinking and the Search of Associative Memory (SAM) to the variable of time. It argues that learning from the news may be better than many recent studies suggest. Although humans may have trouble recalling discrete news stories in recall examinations, it seems likely that they acquire “common knowledge” from the news media. Time is an important variable in helping people to remember news if they use it to think about new information in the context of previously stored knowledge.
The authors hypothesized that information consistent with an evoked knowledge structure will tend to reinforce the structure. However, inconsistent information will tend to produce greater amounts of free recall because the inconsistencies will become salient. Finally, inconsistent information in text form will tend to produce more recall than inconsistent information presented on television or on the radio. The authors gave subjects consistent and inconsistent information on two topics, forest fire (harmful or medicinal to the environment) and population growth (good or bad for the society). These factors were also varied by medium of presentation used. Subjects were tested for recall and willingness to make inferences. Subjects receiving consistent information were most willing to infer while those receiving inconsistent information were more likely to remember more facts from the stimulus. Mode of presentation had little effect.
Notes that college students in Kenya recalled more radio news stories than did adult illiterates, tenth grade students, or adults with less than a college education and that comprehension was also lower for the illiterate adults. (Author/FL)