Article

Getting Tagged, Getting Involved with News? A Mixed-Methods Investigation of the Effects and Motives of News-Related Tagging Activities on Social Network Sites

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

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.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

... Instead, they are more likely to base their decisions on the perceived characteristics of the news content, that is, how relevant or interesting the linked article appears to be. 2 For high-choice media environments such as SNS, there is ample evidence that those with a high interest in politics or (specific) current affairs topics are more likely to engage with encountered news articles (e.g. Boehmer and Tandoc, 2015;Kaiser et al., 2018;Karnowski et al., 2017;Kümpel, 2019aKümpel, , 2019bMöller et al., 2019;Mummolo, 2016;Wolfsfeld et al., 2016). Building on a mobile experience sampling study consisting of over 800 news encounters on Facebook, Karnowski et al., (2017) consistently identified users' topical interest as the most important predictor of reading intentions (for similar results, see also Kaiser et al., 2018;Kümpel, 2019aKümpel, , 2019b. ...
... Boehmer and Tandoc, 2015;Kaiser et al., 2018;Karnowski et al., 2017;Kümpel, 2019aKümpel, , 2019bMöller et al., 2019;Mummolo, 2016;Wolfsfeld et al., 2016). Building on a mobile experience sampling study consisting of over 800 news encounters on Facebook, Karnowski et al., (2017) consistently identified users' topical interest as the most important predictor of reading intentions (for similar results, see also Kaiser et al., 2018;Kümpel, 2019aKümpel, , 2019b. Likewise, relying on more than a year of tracking data of online browsing sessions, Möller et al., (2019) could show 'that social media drives news consumption particularly for those with existing political interest' (p. ...
... The more personalized and accessible for others a given news recommendation is (e.g. getting tagged or @-mentioned in a comment to a news post), the more likely engagement with the article is to ensue (Kümpel, 2019a(Kümpel, , 2019b. At first glance, personal social influence thus seems to provide a chance to mitigate the strong influence preexisting interests and content preferences have on news engagement decisions. ...
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.
... Dabei können politische Konsu ment:innen gezielt Freund:innen adressieren und ihnen etwa journalisti sche Nachrichtenartikel empfehlen. Social-Media-Nutzer:innen sind eher bereit, diese Nachrichtenartikel zu lesen, wenn sie sich für das Thema des Artikels interessieren (Karnowski et al., 2017;Kümpel, 2019), sie von Freund:innen persönlich adressiert und für andere Personen sichtbar auf diese Artikel hingewiesen werden (Kümpel, 2019) und sie positive Gefühle (Karnowski et al., 2017) oder eine enge Beziehung zu der/dem Hinweisge ber:in aufweisen (Kaiser et al., 2021;Kümpel, 2019). Werden Social-Media-Nutzer:innen zudem von Freund:innen auf Nachrichten bestimmter Medi enangebote hingewiesen, steigt ihr Vertrauen in diese Medienangebote (Turcotte et al., 2015). ...
... Dabei können politische Konsu ment:innen gezielt Freund:innen adressieren und ihnen etwa journalisti sche Nachrichtenartikel empfehlen. Social-Media-Nutzer:innen sind eher bereit, diese Nachrichtenartikel zu lesen, wenn sie sich für das Thema des Artikels interessieren (Karnowski et al., 2017;Kümpel, 2019), sie von Freund:innen persönlich adressiert und für andere Personen sichtbar auf diese Artikel hingewiesen werden (Kümpel, 2019) und sie positive Gefühle (Karnowski et al., 2017) oder eine enge Beziehung zu der/dem Hinweisge ber:in aufweisen (Kaiser et al., 2021;Kümpel, 2019). Werden Social-Media-Nutzer:innen zudem von Freund:innen auf Nachrichten bestimmter Medi enangebote hingewiesen, steigt ihr Vertrauen in diese Medienangebote (Turcotte et al., 2015). ...
... Dabei können politische Konsu ment:innen gezielt Freund:innen adressieren und ihnen etwa journalisti sche Nachrichtenartikel empfehlen. Social-Media-Nutzer:innen sind eher bereit, diese Nachrichtenartikel zu lesen, wenn sie sich für das Thema des Artikels interessieren (Karnowski et al., 2017;Kümpel, 2019), sie von Freund:innen persönlich adressiert und für andere Personen sichtbar auf diese Artikel hingewiesen werden (Kümpel, 2019) und sie positive Gefühle (Karnowski et al., 2017) oder eine enge Beziehung zu der/dem Hinweisge ber:in aufweisen (Kaiser et al., 2021;Kümpel, 2019). Werden Social-Media-Nutzer:innen zudem von Freund:innen auf Nachrichten bestimmter Medi enangebote hingewiesen, steigt ihr Vertrauen in diese Medienangebote (Turcotte et al., 2015). ...
Chapter
This volume offers a wide range of insights into current media reception and effects research on the topic of ‘sustainability’. The contributions it contains deal with how this topic is communicated and negotiated on (social) media, how various message and context features affect sustainable behaviour, and what role established and ‘new’ actors—such as influencers or one’s own social media contacts—play in sustainability communication. Based on a broad understanding of sustainability, the articles document the current state of research in this field, answer open questions on an empirical basis and provide ideas for future research. With contributions by Jasmin Baake, B.A.; Dr. Marko Bachl; Janine N. Blessing, M.A.; Dr. Sandra Diehl; PD Dr. Marco Dohle; Caroline Eichner, M.Sc.; Anna Freytag, M.A.; Mareike Gensich, B.A.; Tanja Habermeyer, M.Sc.; Rebecca Hellmeier, B.A.; Elisabeth Hopfe, B.A.; Dr. Imke Hoppe; Dr. Anja Kalch; Dr. Ole Kelm; Prof. Dr. Katharina Kleinen-von Königslöw; Dr. Isabell Koinig; Theresa Kraus, B.A.; Anica Lammers, B.A.; Filipa Lessing, B.A.; Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jörg Matthes; Carolina Müller, B.A.; Dr. Brigitte Naderer; Mag. Ariadne Neureiter, M.Sc.; Sophie Przyklenk, B.A.; Anna Schorn, M.A.; Dr. Felix Reer; Dr. Sabine Reich; Prof. Dr. Patrick Rössler; Dr. Desirée Schmuck; Chelsea Walpert, B.A.; Gregor Willenbrock, M.A.; Anne Marie Zang, B.A. and Dr. Masoumeh Zibarzani.
... The visible behavior of friends surrounding news posts thus acts as another source layer, in addition to the original media source (Oeldorf-Hirsch & DeVoss, 2020). A number of recent studies show that this additional layer positively influences news-related selection decisions and informationseeking behavior on social media-particularly when the friend source is a strong tie, positively evaluated, and/or perceived as an opinion leader (e.g., Kaiser et al., 2018;Karnowski et al., 2017;Kümpel, 2019a;Messing & Westwood, 2013;Turcotte et al., 2015). ...
... To study the effects of personalized social information without obliging participants to grant direct access to their accounts, experimental researchers have thus started to come up with alternative methods to create stimuli featuring the names of participants' actual contacts. A popular approach is asking participants to list the names of their (least) close friends (e.g., Kaiser et al., 2018;Oeldorf-Hirsch & DeVoss, 2020) or-to avoid the problems associated with such free recall (e.g., predominantly remembering strong ties)-work with task-based name generators (e.g., Kümpel, 2019a). When conducting observations or using tracking data it is usually not possible to determine the relationship between a news-sharing friend and the exposed user without further self-report measures. ...
Article
Full-text available
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.
... 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
Full-text available
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.
... New media scholars have scrutinized curation for its influence on incidental news exposure or engagement [67,68,69]. Social curation practices impact other users' willingness to engage with information; most users notice information if pointed by friends/contacts that share or recommend [70]. Curation via the sorting of digital assets such as links in tweets, hashtags, reposting, or retweeting has also been linked to the construction of anti-immigrant publics [1,71]. ...
Article
Full-text available
An emerging narrative on social media challenges the premise that the repertoire against immigrants is caused by xenophobia. We identify and propose the phenomenon of co-opted marginality, or the claims of being victimized by dominant groups that are not conventionally at the margin. We examine how a controlled media environment in Singapore influences citizens (n=36) who claim co-opted marginality when expressing anti-immigrant sentiments online. We further investigate the role of the social media techno-structure in encouraging interactions with this discourse. Contrary to prior literature, we find that social media affordances, such as curation and identification, can discourage citizens from actively engaging with prejudicial and discriminatory language while facilitating the emergence and maintenance of discursive strategies such as co-opted marginality, which conform to contextual normative constraints.
Article
Background: This paper presents part of a wider research project called TRESCA[1] which aims to develop trust in science through the innovation of communication practices. Connected with the topic of trust in sciences, in terms of the credibility and reliability of scientific information, a part of the project was dedicated to the assessment of the explanatory power of two main elements of communication: audio and video. Particular attention was given to how these two elements relate to the perception of citizens, mediating with the latent imaginaries, emotional charges and value judgements that are the basis of the framing of relevant news, and thus with the ability of people to distinguish between correct and false communication. Methods: To investigate these aspects, an ad hoc workshop was designed and implemented in three European countries with the aim of understanding how people interpret the content of a scientific communication video with particular attention to the role of images and audio. Some probe questions were carefully selected to explore content and latent imaginaries, emotional and critical aspects also related with the trust of the communication. Results: By involving citizens in discussions and innovation efforts, many suggestions and recommendations have been collected. In today’s everyday life, where the visual is very widespread, thanks to the ever-growing presence of social media, the power of images can exceed that of audio. Conclusions: Since watching a video without sound can mislead the real content of the message, especially when the source or the speaker aren’t recognisable. This can have many repercussions on people’s ability to evaluate the truthfulness of a news and, consequently, on the choice to grant trust - or distrust.
Article
To date, research on social network sites (SNSs) has primarily focused on Facebook. Professionally oriented social network sites (P-SNSs), such as LinkedIn, have been under-researched in the information systems discipline. Additionally, little is known about the effects of important elements of SNSs (such as one's profile) on social capital formation. As such, the main objective of this research is to propose and validate a model that explains the process by which individuals develop and accrue social capital through P-SNS use. This model draws upon social capital theory and social network analysis and is validated through a survey of 377 LinkedIn users. Our results find that (1) P-SNS users’ actions (perceived profile disclosure, active participation, and passive consumption) have significant positive effects on perceived social connectedness; (2) perceived social connectedness on P-SNSs has a significant positive effect on perceived networking value on these sites; (3) perceived profile disclosure and passive consumption have significant positive effects on network size; (4) active participation does not have any effect on network size, and (5) network size does not have a significant effect on perceived networking value. Overall, this investigation advances our understanding of how social capital is formed in P-SNSs. Additionally, this is the first study in the P-SNS context that investigates the role of the user profile in the social capital formation process, along with user actions of active participation and passive consumption. From a practical perspective, this study has implications for different audiences, such as job seekers, recruiters, and P-SNS providers, assisting them in playing a more effective role in the social capital formation process on P-SNSs.
Article
Tagging a friend in a comment is one of the main mechanisms to lead user interaction in social media. This paper investigates the current practice of user tagging in Instagram by collecting large-scale data that includes 9K uploaded posts and their 4M comments shared by 3M users. Our analysis reveals that 54.8% of the comment contains user tagging, meaning that user tagging is widely used in Instagram. By analyzing the comment texts, we observe that the comments with user tagging tend to have more social and less negative words than those without user tagging, which suggests that user tagging is often used for friendly conversation. Based on lessons learned, we propose a learning-based model to classify the motivation of user tagging into one of the following motivations: information-oriented, relationship-oriented, and discussion-oriented. Our model can achieve a high accuracy in identifying the motivation of user tagging, which can provide important insights for those who want to understand user responses. We then apply our classification model to the user tagging comments in our dataset, and find that 44.08%, 47.74%, and 8.18% of them are ‘information-oriented’, and ‘relationship-oriented’, and ‘discussion-oriented’, respectively, which reveals that user tagging is frequently used to socialize with other friends.
Article
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has become a stress test for science journalism worldwide. In this paper, we explore the under-researched topic of the perceived role enactment of science journalists in non-democratic settings in the example of COVID-19 coverage in Russia. Drawing on 23 semi-structured interviews with Russian science journalists from pro-state and independent media outlets, we examine their perceived role enactment and politicization of reporting about the pandemic in Russia. We identify three major types of limitations of a political nature reported by journalists: (1) editorial guidelines; (2) accessibility and self-censorship of sources; (3) self-censorship. Manifestation of these three types of limitations differ depending on the political orientation of media outlets as well as on the aspect of the topic. Based on the findings, we discuss the influence of universal trends and contextual factors on science journalism covering the pandemic.
Article
Over the past decades, internet governance has developed in a tug-of-war between the democratic, transnational nature of the web, and attempts by national governments to put cyberspace under control. Recently, the idea of digital sovereignty has started to increasingly gain more supporters among nation states. This article is a case study on the Russian concept of a “sovereign internet.” In 2019, the so-called law on sustainable internet marked a new milestone in the development of RuNet. Drawing on document analysis and expert interviews, I reconstruct Russia’s strategic narrative on internet sovereignty and its evolution over time. I identify the main factors that have shaped the Russian concept of sovereignty, including domestic politics, the economy, international relations, and the historical trajectory of the Russian segment of the internet. The article places the Russian case in a global context and discusses the importance of strategic narratives of digital sovereignty for the future of internet governance.
Article
Digitale Plattformen sind aus dem Leben der Menschen nicht mehr wegzudenken. Kommunikation läuft über Messenger, Freundschaften werden über soziale Netzwerke gepflegt, Urlaube über Wohnungsvermietungen geplant. Plattformen sind damit zu Teilen der gesellschaftlichen und sozialen Infrastruktur geworden. In den vergangenen Jahren stehen die Plattform-Giganten wie Facebook, Twitter oder YouTube jedoch auch zunehmend in der Kritik, beispielsweise wegen ihrer Datenverarbeitung, Steuermodelle, Hasskommentaren oder disruptiven Geschäftsmodellen für andere Branchen. Betroffen davon sind auch journalistische Medien aller Gattungen, einerseits wegen einer massiven Verschiebung des Werbebudgets hin zu Google und Facebook, andererseits wegen einer unterstellten dysfunktionalen Wirkung der Plattformen für die Öffentlichkeit und die Gesellschaft. Fragestellung dieser Studie war es, zu klären, inwiefern kooperative Medienplattformen geeignet sein können, die Bereitstellung und Vermittlung publizistischer Leistungen vor dem Hintergrund des digitalen Wandels auch im Medien- und Kommunikationssektor auch in Zukunft gewährleisten zu können. Es geht um die Bereitstellung eines meritorischen Gutes, auf das die Gesellschaft sowohl aus normativen, demokratietheoretischen wie funktionalen Überlegungen heraus auch unter Netzwerkbedingungen nicht verzichten kann. Die Vermittlung publizistischer, und konkret auch journalistischer Inhalte und Leistungen über Plattformen, die sich als Infrastrukturen etablieren, ist daher eine regulatorische Aufgabe im öffentlichen Interesse.
Article
Full-text available
Today, people are increasingly exposed to news on various channels without actively seeking it. However, less is known about the link between the so-called incidental news exposure (INE) and actual news consumption. Using a two-wave panel data set from 18 countries around the world, we study the so-far under researched relation between INE and news consumption across various platforms over time. In doing so, we control for key micro-level variables such as news use, political interest and trust in media as well as macro-level variables, including internet connectivity, GDP, press freedom and literacy rate. The analyses yield an optimistic picture, showing that INE plays a bridging function across countries, leading to actual news consumption on traditional, online and social media platforms. However, trust in news and political interest do not seem to play key moderating roles. Instead, individual analyses per country imply that the link between INE and actual news use is more apparent for online and social media news platforms, and particularly in countries where general social media usage has been reported to be considerably high (e.g. Brazil, Philippines, Taiwan, UK and USA).
Chapter
Digital platforms are becoming increasingly relevant for the constitution of markets. As they can be used in a multifunctional way, platforms are also having a massive impact on the provision and dissemination of both public and private information. Moreover, they are playing a significant role in social exchange. Platforms that facilitate the provision and dissemination of media content and journalistic work are having both economic and cultural effects on the traditional media and communications industry, which is becoming irrelevant and losing income from advertising and users. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, especially are becoming important means for certain social groups to acquire up-to-date information. Platforms and their growth and development are influencing both the traditional media and journalism, which is becoming clear from the growing financial crisis these two sectors are experiencing. The unfolding transformation process is having diverse effects on both the public sphere and on information and communication processes, which in turn is affecting liberal democracy. These changes require specific attention in both interdisciplinary research and politics (the design of a media and communications landscape, regulation, etc.). With contributions by Klaus Beck, Patrick Donges, Otfried Jarren, Katharina von Kleinen-Königslow, Frank Löbigs, Christoph Neuberger, Manuel Puppis
Article
Prozesse der Nachrichten- und Informationsnutzung haben sich in den letzten Jahren gewandelt - insbesondere bei jungen Erwachsenen. So suggerieren die Dominanz des Smartphones sowie die Popularität sozialer Medien in dieser Altersgruppe, dass die Nutzung von Nachrichten zunehmend durch den situativen und sozialen Kontext geprägt sowie abhängig(er) von „zufälligen“ Kontakten mit einzelnen Beiträgen wird. Derzeit fehlt es jedoch an Erkenntnissen dazu, ob und inwiefern sich Zusammenhänge zwischen den Charakteristika der Nachrichtenerfahrung in gegenwärtigen Informationsumgebungen und dem Stellenwert von Nachrichten im Alltag von Nutzer*innen zeigen. Insbesondere ist unklar, ob und inwiefern (neue) Nutzungspraktiken auch das grundlegende Verständnis von Nachrichten herausfordern. Die Studie untersucht daher, wie junge Erwachsene heute „Nachrichten“ definieren und welche Nutzungspraktiken und -gewohnheiten ihren Umgang mit tagesaktuellen Informationen kennzeichnen. Methodisch wird auf eine Kombination aus einer via WhatsApp realisierten Tagebuchstudie sowie qualitativen Interviews mit insgesamt 47 Studierenden im Alter von 18 bis 24 Jahren gesetzt. Die Ergebnisse verweisen auf den geringen Stellenwert, den Nachrichten im Alltag selbst hochgebildeter junger Menschen einnehmen. Sie zeigen zudem die Schwierigkeit, „Nachrichten(-nutzung)“ zu definieren, sowie die Divergenzen zwischen normativ geprägten Ansprüchen an „gute“ Nachrichten und eigenen Nutzungserfahrungen.
Article
Full-text available
Incidental exposure to shared news on Facebook is a vital but understudied aspect of how citizens get involved with politics. This experiment investigates the influence of recommender characteristics (tie strength, political knowledge, political similarity) and different media sources (tabloids, legacy, and digital-born outlets) including multiple mediators (e.g., social pressure, outlet credibility) on incidental exposure to political news on Facebook. A 3 × 3 multi-stimulus, between-subject experiment with two additional quasi-factors and 135 different stimuli was conducted using a representative sample (N = 507). Results showed that strong ties and recommenders with high knowledge increase news exposure, but the impact of knowledge is limited to recommenders with similar political opinions. Similar effects occur for different media types, which also have an independent impact on news exposure. Structural equation modeling reveals that media source effects are mediated through media perceptions, whereas recommender effects work via the desire for social monitoring and perceived issue importance.
Article
Full-text available
Saturation has attained widespread acceptance as a methodological principle in qualitative research. It is commonly taken to indicate that, on the basis of the data that have been collected or analysed hitherto, further data collection and/or analysis are unnecessary. However, there appears to be uncertainty as to how saturation should be conceptualized, and inconsistencies in its use. In this paper, we look to clarify the nature, purposes and uses of saturation, and in doing so add to theoretical debate on the role of saturation across different methodologies. We identify four distinct approaches to saturation, which differ in terms of the extent to which an inductive or a deductive logic is adopted, and the relative emphasis on data collection, data analysis, and theorizing. We explore the purposes saturation might serve in relation to these different approaches, and the implications for how and when saturation will be sought. In examining these issues, we highlight the uncertain logic underlying saturation—as essentially a predictive statement about the unobserved based on the observed, a judgement that, we argue, results in equivocation, and may in part explain the confusion surrounding its use. We conclude that saturation should be operationalized in a way that is consistent with the research question(s), and the theoretical position and analytic framework adopted, but also that there should be some limit to its scope, so as not to risk saturation losing its coherence and potency if its conceptualization and uses are stretched too widely.
Article
Full-text available
On social network sites (SNS), people are increasingly confronted with news content—even if they have not actively been looking for it. Although it is widely recognized that SNS have become a main driver for such incidental news exposure, we know little about the factors that influence whether users engage with news encountered on SNS. Thus, this study investigates under which conditions incidental news exposure becomes actual engagement with news by asking how both the perception of the news post and general news usage patterns influence the intention to read news articles encountered on SNS as well as the intention to look for further information about the covered issues. Building on a mobile forced experience sampling study consisting of 840 Facebook news encounters reported from 124 participants, we find that news engagement is mostly determined by participants’ perceived interestingness of and prior knowledge about the issue of the news post and to a much lesser degree by social factors unique to SNS (i.e., feelings towards the spreader of the news). In contrast, no influence of content-independent news usage patterns on news engagement could be observed.
Article
Full-text available
With social media at the forefront of today’s media context, citizens may perceive they don’t need to actively seek news because they will be exposed to news and remain well-informed through their peers and social networks. We label this the “news-finds-me perception,” and test its implications for news seeking and political knowledge: “news-finds-me effects.” U.S. panel-survey data show that individuals who perceive news will find them are less likely to use traditional news sources and are less knowledgeable about politics over time. Although the news-finds-me perception is positively associated with news exposure on social media, this behavior doesn’t facilitate political learning. These results suggest news continues to enhance political knowledge best when actively sought.
Article
Full-text available
This year's report reveals new insights about digital news consumption based on a YouGov survey of over 20,000 online news consumers in the US, UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Brazil, Japan and Australia. This year's data shows a quickening of the pace towards social media platforms as routes to audiences, together with a surge in the use of mobile for news, a decline in the desktop internet and significant growth in video news consumption online.
Article
Full-text available
Social media services like Facebook and Twitter are playing an increasingly large role as sources of news. This article investigates the ways the composition of social media networks affects people’s exposure to and attitude toward news. Focus groups (N = 31) and in-depth interviews (N = 15) with young adults of varying ethnicity and country of origin showed that people’s networks on social media function as micro agenda setters. The characteristics of people in one’s network can facilitate negative effects such as echo chambers and spirals of silence but can also unfold new perspectives and create awareness of topics not covered by legacy media.
Article
Full-text available
Advancing theory in media exposure and effects requires contending with an increasing level of complexity and contingency. Building on established theoretical concerns and the research possibilities enabled by large social datasets, we propose a framework for mapping information exposure of digitally situated individuals. We argue that from the perspective of an individual's personal communication network, comparable processes of "curation" are undertaken by a variety of actors-not only conventional newsmakers but also individual media users, social contacts, advertisers, and computer algorithms. Detecting the competition, intersection, and overlap of these flows is crucial to understanding media exposure and effects today. Our approach reframes research questions in debates such as polarization, selective and incidental exposure, participation, and conceptual orientations for computational approaches. © 2015 International Communication Association November 2015 10.1111/comt.12087 Original Article Original Articles
Article
Full-text available
Although literature about the relationship between social media and political behaviors has expanded in recent years, little is known about the roles of social media as a source of political information. To fill this gap, this article considers the question of whether and to what extent learning political information occurs via Facebook and Twitter. Theory suggests that social media may play a significant role in the learning of political information within the modern media environment. Making use of a combination of experimental and survey-based studies, the data suggest that the potential for users to learn political information from social media exists but is not always realized within the general population. © 2015 Mass Communication & Society Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
Article
Full-text available
Polls show a strong decline in public trust of traditional news outlets; however, social media offers new avenues for receiving news content. This experiment used the Facebook API to manipulate whether a news story appeared to have been posted on Facebook by one of the respondent's real-life Facebook friends. Results show that social media recommendations improve levels of media trust, and also make people want to follow more news from that particular media outlet in the future. Moreover, these effects are amplified when the real-life friend sharing the story on social media is perceived as an opinion leader. Implications for democracy and the news business are discussed.
Book
Full-text available
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/
Article
Full-text available
The emerging media environment introduced fundamental changes in the quality and format of information available to the public, which can now flexibly seek, alter, and disseminate the information they receive. Therefore, the two processes of information selection and information retransmission are crucial for understanding the reach of any information available in the online information environment. From this starting point, we examine the common psychological motives driving information selection and transmission of attitude-relevant information: defense and accuracy motives adding a focus on interpersonal motives. We also review message factors that can activate psychological motives leading to selection or retransmission of information, such as the desire for novelty and emotional stimulation. We speculate about the directions for the next generation of research necessary to understand exposure as a core outcome in media effects research and theory.
Article
Full-text available
This longitudinal study investigates whether the impact of political interest—a key motivational factor behind news consumption—on various forms of news consumption has increased over time. The analysis is based on a unique large-scale representative annual survey conducted in Sweden over the years 1986–2010, enabling a comprehensive analysis of citizens’ total and specific news consumption across multiple channels and platforms. Results show that news consumption has become more polarized between news-seekers and news-avoiders over time, and that political interest has become a more important determinant of news consumption in today’s high-choice media environment.
Article
Full-text available
A meta-analysis of thirty-four news diffusion studies shows that the general importance of a story is positively associated with the level of diffusion and likelihood of hearing the news interpersonally, but not the rate of telling others. A second study examined the spread of the news of "Magic" Johnson's positive HIV test. Results indicate that personal importance affected whether a person tells others. These findings identify the important role of individuals and the importance of the news in the diffusion process. News that is personally relevant to an individual is more likely to be discussed with others
Article
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.
Article
This work extends the masspersonal communication model (MPCM; O'Sullivan & Carr, 2017) by introducing anticipated interaction as a way to understand variations within the masspersonal continuum. Drawing from Thompson's mediated communication framework (1995), we argue that anticipated interaction paves the way for establishing a communicative relationship between interactants. In social media, this relationship is rooted in a sender's expectations for audience response and the imagined responsive audience. Using experience sampling, we show that anticipated interaction varies across social media. Further, we outline the relational and situational factors associated with expecting response and the specificity of imagined responsive audience. These variations and their sources characterize masspersonal communication as a socially and technologically situated practice shaped by multiple intersecting influences.
Article
The growing reliance on social media as news platforms may lead to more passive news consumption, but also offers greater potential for engaging in news. This study investigates the role of engagement with news content on Facebook and Twitter between news exposure and current events knowledge. An online survey (N = 400) tests the relationships between social media news seeking, incidental exposure to news on social media, engagement in shared news content, cognitive elaboration, and current events knowledge. The results show that both active seeking of and incidental exposure to news on both sites are linked to engagement, which is linked to greater cognitive elaboration about the content. Furthermore, engagement mediates the relationship between both types of news exposure and cognitive elaboration. However, engagement and elaboration are not related to knowledge. These results indicate that the key role of social media in news content is not knowledge gain, but the ability to engage users who may be passively receiving news on these sites. This study extends the cognitive mediation model of learning from the news in the context of current social media, with updated news consumption norms such as engagement with news on these sites, and incidental news exposure.
Article
Purpose This study mainly aims to investigate how we can understand social media interactions better by explicating the process of social capital formation on Facebook from a reciprocity perspective. Design/methodology/approach This study observed users who got tagged on Facebook by his/her friends and how s/he responded to that tagging activity. 4,666 posts and 418,580 comments from The New York Times Facebook page were collected for the observation. Findings A majority (77.87%) of users who were tagged by their friends showed reactions to their tagging. In detail, 33.63%, 44.20%, and 0.04% of users responded by comments, “Likes”, and “Shares”, respectively. 90.11% of the comments and 98.58% of the “Likes” were expressed on a comment or sub-comment, and only 9.89% of the comments and 1.42% of the “Likes” were expressed on a post. This indicates that a high percentage of users respond to their tagging notification, and they prefer dialogic responses to non-dialogic responses. Originality/value Previous studies have focused on photo tagging activity in social media, but user tagging activity had not been studied enough. This study examines the effects of Facebook tagging activity from a reciprocal perspective.
Article
Scholars have questioned the potential for incidental exposure in high-choice media environments. We use online survey data to examine incidental exposure to news on social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter) in four countries (Italy, Australia, United Kingdom, United States). Leaving aside those who say they intentionally use social media for news, we compare the number of online news sources used by social media users who do not see it as a news platform, but may come across news while using it (the incidentally exposed), with people who do not use social media at all (non-users). We find that (a) the incidentally exposed users use significantly more online news sources than non-users, (b) the effect of incidental exposure is stronger for younger people and those with low interest in news and (c) stronger for users of YouTube and Twitter than for users of Facebook.
Article
Media consumers often lack the motivation, time, or cognitive capacity to select content in a deliberate way; instead, they opt for mental shortcuts. Brands are important in this regard because they simplify decision making. In the present study we investigated whether attitudes toward news media brands predict news choice. It is important that we conceptualized attitudes on two different levels: Although explicit attitudes are defined as overtly expressed, more or less deliberate evaluations, implicit attitudes are defined as automatically activated, gut-level evaluations. The supplementary use of implicit attitudes is consistent with current theorizing highlighting that deeply held and sometimes even unconscious evaluations influence media choice. Using a web-based study, we found that implicit and explicit attitudes toward television brands predicted choice. Each attitude construct predicted variance beyond that predicted by the other. We discuss implications by emphasizing the role of automatic, gut-level decision making in current high-choice media environments.
Article
Today, the internet serves a wealth of news sources that encourages selective exposure to attitude-consistent and likeminded information. Several cues have been proposed to influence selective exposure, including partisanship, familiarity, and differential framing techniques. This study investigates the effects of news brand partisanship and news lead partisanship on selective exposure behaviors to internet news stories. With online news, it is possible that news brands believed to have a particular partisan bias may feature stories with an opposite partisan bias. This paper asks which of the two tested selective exposure cues used in this study participants respond to in an online news search environment. Using a non-college adult sample of 382 participants, this study confirms that selective exposure behavior is robust in a simulated news search environment and that news brand partisanship is a more powerful predictor of exposure than is news lead partisanship. The study finds, however, that the news brand effect on selective exposure is diminished when the news brand partisanship and news lead conflict with one another. The implications of the findings are discussed, and future directions for research are proposed.
Article
Has the introduction of social media into the information landscape changed the heuristics individuals use when selecting news? Social media allow users to easily share and endorse political content. These features facilitate personal influence, possibly increasing the salience of partisan information, making users more likely to read endorsed content. To test this possibility, I utilize snowball sampling to conduct a survey experiment featuring mock Facebook News Feeds. These feeds contain different levels of social media activity attributed to different sources, varying from fictional individuals to subjects’ own friends and family members. I find that online endorsements and discussions serve as heuristics when deciding which content to consume, outweighing partisan selectivity. This effect is only significant when the activity comes from friends or family members, as social influence attributed to fictional individuals has no effect on information selectivity.
Article
Employing two studies, this paper investigates incidental exposure to news online in terms of its influence on individual learning about public affairs as well as its predictors in the social media environment. Study 1, using an experimental design, shows that incidental exposure to news has significant effects on an individual’s recognition and recall of information in news stories. The effects of incidental exposure on recall are mediated by actual exposure to information in the news (spending some time on reading), suggesting gateway effects of initial exposure by accident. Employing a national survey, Study 2 finds that social media network heterogeneity and proportion of weak ties are positively associated with likelihood of incidental exposure to news online, while most variables of individual characteristics are not. The significant effects of structural factors found suggest that incidental exposure can limit consequences of selective exposure. Further implications of the findings are discussed.
Article
Theoretical discussions about the false dichotomy between interpersonal and mass communication scholarship continue while the emergence of powerful and flexible digital communication tools have made the old distinctions more permeable than ever. Individuals are using communication technologies in ways that expand the intersection of interpersonal communication and mass communication, calling for new frameworks. We introduce masspersonal communication as a concept at the intersections of mass and interpersonal communication, with examples from older and newer communication technologies and practices. The masspersonal communication model is introduced incorporating two dimensions—perceived message accessibility and message personalization—that link mass communication and interpersonal communication and redefine each independent of channel.
Article
Stepping beyond traditional mass communication and political communication frameworks, this study utilizes the Integrated Behavioral Model (IBM) to predict traditional broadcast and print news media exposure. Specific focus is given to experiential (is politics interesting?) and instrumental (is politics important?) attitudes. A secondary analysis is performed on 2010–2014 World Values Survey data (N = 6,961) consisting of representative samples collected from the United States, Germany, Australia, and Sweden. Interest is a statistically-significant predictor of both types of news media exposure, but importance and interest-by-importance are statistically significant for broadcast only. The positive predictive value of political interest for broadcast is isolated to only those individuals who perceive politics to be of low personal importance. Discussion focuses on task difficulty when comparing broadcast and print news media exposure and the theoretical implications of the study’s findings. In addition, an IBM-based research agenda is proposed for the study of news media engagement.
Article
People increasingly visit online news sites not directly, but by following links on social network sites. Drawing on news value theory and integrating theories about online identities and self-representation, we develop a concept of shareworthiness, with which we seek to understand how the number of shares an article receives on such sites can be predicted. Findings suggest that traditional criteria of newsworthiness indeed play a role in predicting the number of shares, and that further development of a theory of shareworthiness based on the foundations of newsworthiness can offer fruitful insights in news dissemination processes.
Article
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.
Article
We assess whether and how accidental exposure to political information on social media contributes to citizens’ online political participation in comparative perspective. Based on three online surveys of samples representative of German, Italian, and British Internet users in the aftermath of the 2014 European Parliament elections, we find that accidental exposure to political information on social media is positively and significantly correlated with online participation in all three countries, particularly so in Germany where overall levels of participation were lower. We also find that interest in politics moderates this relationship so that the correlation is stronger among the less interested than among the highly interested. These findings suggest that inadvertent encounters with political content on social media are likely to reduce the gap in online engagement between citizens with high and low interest in politics, potentially broadening the range of voices that make themselves heard.
Article
Research on the agenda-setting role of the news media has often been guided by a rather narrow conception of how media content affects members of the public. In particular, reliance on a "mirror-image" model of media effects, and a focus on "the agenda" as an overall ranking of issues, has not shed much light on the processes linking public issue salience to varying media attention. This study introduces an "audience-effects" model which treats issue-specific audience sensitivities as modulators, and news coverage as a trigger stimulus, of media impact on issue salience, issue by issue. An analysis of "most important national problem" mentions in the 1974 National Election Study, augmented by data on front-page content in the newspapers read by respondents and on "real-world" conditions in the respondents' communities, provides considerable empirical support for the proposed audience-contingent effects model. In addition, secondary diffusion of problem salience through networks of informal social communication is shown to eventually override early news media impact. Our findings underscore the need for research on agenda-setting to focus on both the temporal and the social dimension of media impact.
Article
Social networking sites such as Facebook provide new ways of sharing news stories that allow users to act as opinion leaders in their networks, encourage discussion, and potentially increase their involvement in current events. This study identifies the particular features of Facebook that facilitate the discussion of news and tests their effects on involvement and feelings of influence. Participants (N = 265) in a 3 (Broadcast level: news feed vs. wall post vs. direct message) × 3 (Elaboration: opinion vs. question vs. no comment) × 2 (Involving-friends: tag vs. no tag) between-subjects factorial experiment were randomly assigned to share a story from a news website on Facebook. Results show that user involvement in the news content depends on the social affordances of the site, particularly those that allow for audience customization and those that drive network feedback. Asking the network’s opinions and targeting specific friends led to greater involvement in the news content. Discussion through comments led to a greater sense of influence and greater involvement for those sharing the news story. These findings highlight the importance of encouraging individuals to act as sources of information in their networks to drive engagement in current events in the changing news landscape.
Article
For more than a century, scholars have alluded to the notion of an “imagined audience”—a person's mental conceptualization of the people with whom he or she is communicating. The imagined audience has long guided our thoughts and actions during everyday writing and speaking. However, in today's world of social media where users must navigate through highly public spaces with potentially large and invisible audiences, scholars have begun to ask: Who do people envision as their public or audience as they perform in these spaces? This article contributes to the literature by providing a theoretical framework that broadly defines the construct; identifies its significance in contemporary society and the existing tensions between the imagined and actual audiences; and drawing on Giddens's concept of structuration, theorizes what influences variations in people's imagined audience compositions. It concludes with a research agenda highlighting essential areas of inquiry.
Article
The present study revisits the relationship between the civic duty to keep informed and news media use in the new media environment, then discovers that the civic duty to keep informed functions as an intervening variable between education and news media use. Of particular theoretical interest is that the civic duty to keep informed was found to be a consequence of education and a determinant of use of new news media, specifically cable news and national news on the Internet, news media that did not exist when the civic duty to keep informed was first measured using a Guttman scale more than twenty years ago. The civic duty to keep informed was also found to have the same strong monotonic relationship to traditional sources of news, newspapers, and network television, as was found in numerous settings more than twenty years ago. Moreover, one new relationship emerged here that was not found in earlier years, a clear relationship between a civic duty to keep informed and use of local TV news. The demographic patterns found in the new media environment among citizens in this southwestern metropolitan area—strong monotonic, or near monotonic, links between the civic duty to keep informed and education, income, and age—replicate the patterns found in earlier years. For education and income, the patterns are very similar. For age, the pattern is even stronger than in previous years.
Article
Some people are more politically interested than others, but political scientists do not know how stable these differences are and why they occur. This paper examines stability in political interest. Eleven different panel surveys taken in four different countries over 40 years are used to measure stability. Several studies include a much larger number of interview waves—up to 23—than commonly used panels. The analysis empirically characterizes the stability of interest over time using a model that accounts for measurement error and a dynamic panel model. The large number of panel waves makes it possible to relax many restrictive assumptions to ensure robustness. With one exception (Germany reunification), political interest is exceptionally stable in the short run and over long periods of time. Hence, this study provides strong justification for efforts to understand how political interest forms among young people.
Article
Data from four types of research—news diffusion studies, time trends, a newspaper strike, and a field experiment—are consistent with the general hypothesis that increasing the flow of news on a topic leads to greater acquisition of knowledge about that topic among the more highly educated segments of society. Whether the resulting knowledge gap closes may depend partly on whether the stimulus intensity of mass media publicity is maintained at a high level, or is reduced or eliminated at a point when only the more active persons have gained that knowledge.
Article
We assessed the forgetting of friends and its effects on measuring personal and social network characteristics and properties. All 217 residents of a university residence hall first recalled as many of their friends in the hall as they could. Then, on a complete list of hall residents, residents indicated other friends they forgot to recall. On average, residents forgot 20% of their friends. Residents' demographic characteristics are unrelated to the proportion of friends forgotten. However, the number of friends recalled correlates moderately positively with the number of friends forgotten. Recalled and forgotten friends do not differ appreciably in terms of their individual characteristics, although residents on average had modestly closer relationships with recalled friends than forgotten friends. Forgetting also influenced the measurement of some social network structural properties, such as density, number of cliques, centralization, and individuals' centralities. More research is required to determine whether forgetting distorts measurement of structural properties in other settings.
Article
Numerous theories in social and health psychology assume that intentions cause behaviors. However, most tests of the intention- behavior relation involve correlational studies that preclude causal inferences. In order to determine whether changes in behavioral intention engender behavior change, participants should be assigned randomly to a treatment that significantly increases the strength of respective intentions relative to a control condition, and differences in subsequent behavior should be compared. The present research obtained 47 experimental tests of intention-behavior relations that satisfied these criteria. Meta-analysis showed that a medium-to-large change in intention (d = 0.66) leads to a small-to-medium change in behavior (d = 0.36). The review also identified several conceptual factors, methodological features, and intervention characteristics that moderate intention-behavior consistency.
Growing closer on Facebook: Changes in tie strength through social network site use
  • M Burke
  • R E Kraut
Burke, M., & Kraut, R. E. (2014). Growing closer on Facebook: Changes in tie strength through social network site use. In Proceedings of the 32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 4187-4196). New York, NY, USA: ACM.
Power of earned advertising on social network services: A case study of friend tagging on Facebook
  • J Y Park
  • Y Sohn
  • S Moon
Park, J. Y., Sohn, Y., & Moon, S. (2016). Power of earned advertising on social network services: A case study of friend tagging on Facebook. In Proceedings of the 10th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (pp. 299-308).
How social inequalities shape incidental exposure to news and politics among young adults
  • K Thorson
Thorson, K. (2018, May). How social inequalities shape incidental exposure to news and politics among young adults. Prague, Czech Republic: Presented at the 68th Annual Conference of the ICA.
ARD/ZDF-Onlinestudie 2017: Neun von zehn Deutschen online
  • Koch
News use across social media platforms 2016. Pew Research Center
  • J Gottfried
  • J Shearer
Gottfried, J., & Shearer, J. (2016). News use across social media platforms 2016. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://pewrsr.ch/2bvjver
Friends that matter: How social influence affects selection in social mediaUnpublished Manuscript
  • S Messing
  • S J Westwood
Messing, S., & Westwood, S. J. (2013). Friends that matter: How social influence affects selection in social mediaUnpublished Manuscript. Stanford, CA, USA.