Data Set: the Relevance of News Stories
Relevance is a core news value -- but what does it mean to audiences?
News creators and news audiences alike understand relevance as a core news value, but they understand it in different ways. Relevance is not really a static property of news stories; instead, it’s a relationship negotiated between audience and story (and, less visibly, the story’s creator). Journalists can write in ways that highlight a story’s relevance to some particular audience, and audiences can make additional personal connections beyond the ones made explicit in the story. While most earlier research has focused on how journalists attempt to make stories relevant to their audiences, we asked the public how they judge relevance in an online survey study.
Specifically, we asked people to watch or read one of several health or science stories and answer a series of questions about their reactions. Towards the end of the survey, respondents were asked the following two questions:
- Did you find this story relevant to you?
- Why or why not?
In the first survey, this was asked as a single prompt with an open text box. In all following surveys, the first question offered radio buttons “Yes” and “No” while the second question provided an open textbox.
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 Science Foundation under grant #DRL-1516347 and the National Institutes of Health under grant #1R25OD020212-01A1. More information is available in the Readme tab of the data file. You can also check out a related post here.
Knology. (2020). News relevance data set. [Data file and code book]. Retrieved from https://bit.ly/2QdvNOy
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