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The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.707
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.151

CiteScore 2018: 0.86

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.460
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.580

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Volume 38, Issue 2


Language intensity as a sensationalistic news feature: The influence of style on sensationalism perceptions and effects

Christian Burgers / Anneke de Graaf
Published Online: 2013-05-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2013-0010


This article extends the definition of sensationalism to print media by arguing that language intensifiers may be an aspect of sensationalism. In addition, this paper investigates if an indirect effect can be established by which sensationalistic message features influence news reception through the perception of sensationalism. Two between-subjects experiments show that sensationalistic message features like intensifiers increase perceived language intensity (PLI). In experiment 1, intensifiers had a negative effect on news article appreciation, which was not influenced by PLI. Experiment 2 revealed positive indirect effects of intensifiers through PLI on newsworthiness and news article appreciation.

Keywords: language intensity; sensationalism; journalism; printed news; linguistic style

About the article

Published Online: 2013-05-31

Published in Print: 2013-05-29

Citation Information: Communications - The European Journal of Communication Research, Volume 38, Issue 2, Pages 167–188, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2013-0010.

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