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Donica Mensing
Reynolds School of Journalism
University of Nevada, Reno
Purpose
• To begin understanding differences
between types of online news sites over
time
• To begin understanding what news
factors online might relate to political
learning
Method
• Collected news stories from online
newspapers (The New York Times on
the Web, USA Today Online), online
broadcast sites (ABCnews.com,
CNN.com) and online only sites (Salon
and Slate)
• During the presidential primary seasons
in 2000 and 2004
Method
• Randomly selected 10 days in the primary
season. Analyzed the first four primary stories
in each outlet on each sampled day.
• Coded 289 stories in 2000 and 2004 about
the presidential primary
• Measured seven variables that the literature
indicate could relate to political learning
Personal (0) --Institutional (1)
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.3
0.35
Mean
Online newspapers Online broadcast Online only news
sites
Personal (0) v. institutional frame (1)
2000
2004
Contains issue information
No info - 0
Has issue info - 1
0
0.05
0.1
0.15
0.2
0.25
0.3
Online
newspapers
Online
broadcast
Online only
news sites*
Issue coverage
2000
2004
Use of photographs
No photo with story (0) -- Photo with story (1)
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
Online newspapers* Online broadcast* Online only news sites*
Use of Photographs
2000
2004
Use of multimedia
No multimedia (0) -- multimedia available (1)
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
Online newspapers* Online broadcast Online only news sites
Use of Multimedia
2000
2004
Use of links from the story page
0 to five (0) - More than 5 (1)
USA Today Story, Feb. 19, 2006
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
Online newspapers* Online broadcast* Online only news sites
Use of links in sidebars
2000
2004
Action items related to the story
0-1 actions (1) -- 2 or more actions (1)
CNN story -- Feb. 19, 2004
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
Online newspapers* Online broadcast* Online only news sites
Action Steps
2000
2004
Ability to provide feedback linked from story
No feedback (0) -- Feedback (1)
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
Online newspapers Online broadcast* Online only news sites
Feedback
2000
2004
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
Online newspapers* Online broadcast sites* Online only news sites
Learning Index
2000
2004
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
NYT* USA Today* ABC* CNN Salon* Slate*
Learning Index
2000
2004

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Mensing