Data Set: Sharing News Stories

People are more comfortable talking about news stories than sharing them on social media. What do they say about them?

by Jena Barchas-LichtensteinJohn VoiklisJohn Fraser
Jan 28, 2020

We’ve seen consistently in our research with news audiences (Appendix C of this document) that people report they are much more comfortable talking about news stories than either emailing them or sharing them through social media.

But who do people talk about the news with, and what kinds of things do they say?

Specifically, we asked people to watch or read one of several health stories and answer a series of questions about their reactions. As in the research cited above, survey respondents were asked to rate their willingness to share the story in three different ways:

  • I am likely to email this story to someone.
  • I am likely to share this story on social media.
  • I am likely to describe this story to someone.

Those who provided an above-neutral answer to this third item saw an additional page with three open-ended follow-up items:

  • You said you were at least somewhat likely to describe this story. Who are you likely to describe it to?
  • How would you describe it?
  • Why would you describe it?

Keep an eye out for future publications using this data.

About this Study

This research was conducted with PBS NewsHour. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health under grant #1R25OD020212-01A1. More information is available in the Readme tab of the data file.

Knology. (2020). News sharing data set. [Data file and code book]. Retrieved from

Photo by fran hogan on Unsplash

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