Does high-quality news attract engagement on social media? Mediatization, media logic, and the contrasting values that shape news sharing, liking, and commenting on Facebook

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Abstract

Despite the concern over deteriorating news quality on social media, few studies have empirically examined how much high-quality news is rewarded on social media. Guided by the mediatization literature, we compared the extent to which normative values (i.e. factual reporting and public importance) in news stories as opposed to social media values (i.e. popularity) contribute to actual engagement such as sharing, liking, and commenting on Facebook. The normative values and social media values were drawn from survey participants’ evaluations of the news content, recruiting both consumers (n = 5816) and journalists (n = 742). Each news post’s engagement metrics were extracted from Facebook. Our analysis shows that consumers’ news judgments are overall consistent with those of journalists. More importantly, the study finds that a social media value dominates news engagement whereas normative values are eminently weak. We discuss the implications of the disproportionally powerful social media logic shaping news engagement in comparison to normative logics for news.

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APA

Shin, J., Lewis, S. C., Kim, S., & Thorson, K. (2024). Does high-quality news attract engagement on social media? Mediatization, media logic, and the contrasting values that shape news sharing, liking, and commenting on Facebook. New Media and Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448241228851

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