RESEARCH


Priming and Fake News

Van Duyn, E., & Collier, J.R. (2019). Priming and fake news: The effects of elite discourse on evaluations of news media. Mass Communication & Society, 22(1): 29-48. doi:10.1080/15205436.2018.1511807
**2019 Article of the Year Award from Mass Communication & Society; Highest Altmetric attention score of all articles tracked in Mass Communication & Society

Does being exposed to talk about “fake news” matter more than being exposed to “fake news” itself? This project explored the influence of elite discourse about fake news on individuals’ ability to accurately identify fake and real news. Findings from this experiment suggest that exposure to elite discourse about fake news is detrimental to individuals’ ability to identify real (but not fake) news and has a negative impact on media trust.

Coverage: Poynter, New York Times Interpreter newsletter, NiemanLab, Boston Globe, Publico, and International Journalists’ Network blog

COVID-19 and Local News Coverage

Masullo, G.M., Jennings, J.T., Collier, J.R., Muddiman, A., Murray, C., Chavez, G., Deaven, K., Deller, N., Gursky, J., Joseff, K., Wadman-Goetsch, E., Wilner, T. & Stroud, N.J. (2020, May). Covering coronavirus: How audience needs are changing and how newsroom coverage compares. Center for Media Engagement. https://mediaengagement.org/research/coronavirus-coverage-changes

Masullo, G.M., Collier, J.R. , Muddiman, A., Murray, C., Chavez, G., Deaven, K., Deller, N., Gursky, J., Jennings, J., Joseff, K., Wadman-Goetsch, E., Wilner, T., & Stroud, N.J. (2020, April). Covering coronavirus: A snapshot of the information people want and what newsrooms are reporting. The Center for Media Engagement. https://mediaengagement.org/research/coronavirus -reporting-snapshot

How does local news coverage of coronavirus match up with audience needs and wants? This project used CrowdTangle data to look at what local television stations and newspapers around the country were saying about COVID-19 in both April and May at the beginning of the pandemic. These results were compared to survey data on what the public identifies as their information needs in order to provide recommendations to newsrooms about what topics to cover less and which to highlight more. Academic papers using this data are in progress.

Coverage: NiemanLab, RTDNA

Asymmetric Concerns about News

Collier, J.R. (in preparation). Conservative concerns about news. In Jarvis, S. (Ed.) New agendas in communication: How right-wing media and messaging (re)made American politics. New York: Routledge.
**Honorable Mention, Seymour Sudman Student Paper Competition,
American Association for Public Opinion Research

Do liberals and conservatives differ in their concerns about facts and news? Has this changed during the Trump administration? This project uses nationally representative panel data from 2016 and 2018 to show that partisan differences in attitudes toward news and facts exist where conservatives are much more likely to report greater concern for quality of news. Social media use does not influence these outcomes while partisan media diets do.

Selective Exposure and Homophily

Stroud, N.J. & Collier, J.R. (2018). Selective exposure and homophily during the 2016 presidential campaign. In B.H. Warner, D.G. Bystrom, M.S. McKinney, & M.C. Banwart (Eds.) An Unprecedented Election: Campaign Coverage, Communication, and Citizens Divided. (pp. 21-39). Santa Monica, CA: Praeger.

Where did people turn for news and information and with whom did they discuss politics in the context of the 2016 election? This chapter used data from the 2016 Texas Media and Society Survey to answer those questions, analyzing the partisan composition of the public’s mediated and interpersonal contacts. Results showed that partisan selective exposure and homophily exist and that using likeminded media and having like-minded discussion partners is more prevalent than hearing from opposing viewpoints.

Recirculation on News Sites

Collier, J.R. & Stroud, N.J. (2018). Using links to keep readers on news sites. The Center for Media Engagement. White paper. https://mediaengagement.org/research/links/

How can news sites improve link sections to keep readers on their site? This white paper (academic paper, in preparation) examines the best practices in using links on news sites. Through a grant from the Lenfest Institute for Journalism and in partnership with the Graham Media Group, we look at 1.8 million observations to find that link layouts with images, links at the end of the page, related content, and generic wordings generate more clicks.

Coverage: NiemanLab

Subscription Messages

Collier, J.R., Kim, Y., & Stroud, N.J. (2020). How news images affect clicking on subscription appeals. Journalism Practice. doi: 10.1080/17512786.2020.1738262

Stroud, N.J., Kim, Y., & Collier, J.R. (2018). Subscription messages. The Center for Media Engagement. White paper. https://mediaengagement.org/research/subscription-messages/

What works and what doesn’t when advertising subscriptions? This project explores possible strategies for evaluating whether people click to learn more about subscribing to news. In partnership with three newsrooms across the United States, we conduct 23 experimental tests reaching 492,965 Facebook or email accounts. Results show that people aren’t persuaded by logos or messages conveying what’s at stake, and they want to sign up for free newsletters more than they want to pay for a subscription.

Coverage: NiemanLab

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