To Share or Not to Share: The influence of news values and topics on popular social media content in the United States, Brazil, and Argentina

Víctor García-Perdomo, Ramón Salaverría, Danielle K. Kilgo, Summer Harlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations

Abstract

Audiences play a fundamental role in disseminating and evaluating news content, and one of the big questions facing news organizations is what elements make content viral in the digital environment. This comparative study of the United States, Brazil and Argentina explores what values and topics present in news shared online predict audience interaction on social media. Findings shed light on what news values and topics trigger more audience responses on Facebook and Twitter. At the same time, a comparison between popular content produced by traditional media versus online-native media reveals that the former lean more toward government-related news and conflict/controversy news values than online native media. Brazilian stories prompted more social media interactivity than content from the United States or Argentina. Through content analysis, this study contributes to improving our understanding of audiences’ news values preferences on social networks. It also helps us to recognize the role of users’ online activities (sharing, commenting and liking) in the social construction of news and meaning inside the networked sphere. Finally, it opens an old media debate about whether providing and sharing too much media content with conflict, controversy and oddity could potentially hinder understanding and agreement in society. Articles were collected via media tracking and the data collection company NewsWhip.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1180-1201
Number of pages22
JournalJournalism Studies
Volume19
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 11 2018
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • news topics
  • news values
  • online media
  • online native
  • online shares
  • social media
  • social recommendations
  • traditional media

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