News factors and news decisions. Theoretical and methodological advances in Germany


News value research has contributed a great deal to the understanding of news selection. For a long time scholars focused exclusively on news selection by the media. Yet, more recent approaches — inspired by cognitive psychology — have conceptionalized news factors as relevance indicators that not only serve as selection criteria in journalism, but also guide information processing by the audience. This article examines the theoretical and methodological developments in the German research tradition and discusses selected results for newspaper and television news. Its theoretical perspective focuses on the conceptionalization of news factors as either event characteristics or characteristics of the reality construction by journalists and recipients. This article explores how and why news factors affect media use and the retention of news items. Finally, this contribution's empirical perspective discusses various modifications of the assumed factors and presents methodological advancements in the measurement of news factors in selection processes.

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The European Journal of Communication Research is an established forum for scholarship and academic debate in the field of communication science and research from a European perspective. Communications highlights the concerns of communication science through the publication of articles, research reports, review essays and book reviews on theoretical and methodological developments considered from a European perspective.