Saturday, August 10, 2019

Users seek to maintain favorable impressions by balancing personal vs public information, maintaining a sense of authenticity; resending inspirational news seems to threaten that in Twitter

Spreading the Good News: Analyzing Socially Shared Inspirational News Content. Qihao Ji et al. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, December 11, 2018.

Abstract: Past research indicates that people often share awe-inspiring news online. However, little is known about the content of those stories. In this study, more broadly defined “inspirational” articles shared through The New York Times website over a 6-month period were analyzed, with the goals of describing the content and identifying characteristics that might predict inspirationality and measures of retransmission. The results provided a snapshot of content found within inspirational news stories; they also revealed that self-transcendent language use predicted the inspirationality of a news story, as well as how long an article appeared on a most shared list.

Keywords: self-transcendent media experiences, inspirational media, news sharing, news retransmission, content analysis

Twitter was the least likely platform for inspirational news retransmission [...] users generally seek to maintain favorable impressions by balancing the disclosure of personal versus public information, avoiding certain topics of discussion, and maintaining a sense of authenticity. Many inspirational stories might challenge that balance, perhaps being viewed as “too personal” for broadcasting platforms by some users. Such concerns would seemingly be minimized—or perhaps virtually nonexistent—when private or narrowcast communication means (like email) are used to share such content with specific individuals. Additional studies empirically testing these propositions are encouraged.

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