Annabring, Ute & Monika Spohrs

Reception and Acceptance of Constructive Coverage by the Audience: Design of an Experimental Study




Umfang & Ausstattung 10 S.
Erschienen 08/2004
ISSN & Heft-No. 1611-1818_56


This paper presents the design of an experimental study that is part of the project „Media as mediators of democratization, peace-building and reconciliation in post-war societies“ of the Peace Research Group at the University of Konstanz.
The study is intended to assess the extent to which it is possible to modify the cognitive framing of news text material (in the direction of constructive conflict-coverage) without being rejected by the recipient for reasons of cognitive dissonance in regard to social beliefs.
The results of the study are expected to show, on the one hand, whether text material developed according to previously worked-out strategies for de-escalation oriented reporting will arouse attention, and whether the reader will consequently develop the intended mental model of the presented conflict. This aspect will be measured by giving test subjects escalation- and de-escalation-oriented text material, which they are asked to read and then reproduce. The written reproductions will be analyzed using a quantitative coding schedule.
We will also investigate whether and how constructed text material is received and evaluated with regard to entertainment value, news content, credibility and balance. These aspects will be measured using a questionnaire.
The texts are related to three different events in post-war Yugoslavia. Each event is presented in four different versions, resulting in 12 different texts. The sample will be representative for the typical readership of three prestigious German newspapers.