Title
Two Faces of Media Attention: Media Storm Versus Non-Storm Coverage Two Faces of Media Attention: Media Storm Versus Non-Storm Coverage
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Law
Mass communications
Source (journal)
Political communication. - London, 1992, currens
Volume/pages
31(2014) :4 , p. 509-531
ISSN
1058-4609
ISI
000343241900002
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
A media storm is a sudden surge in news coverage of an item, producing high attention for a sustained period. Our study represents the first multi-issue, quantitative analysis of storm behavior. We build a theory of the mechanisms that drive media storms and why the anatomy of media storms differs from that of non-storm coverage. Specifically, media storm coverage should change less explosively over time, but be more sharply skewed across issues, compared to non-storm coverage. We offer a new method of operationalizing media storms and apply our operationalization to U.S. and Belgian news. Even in these two very different cases, we find a common empirical storm anatomy with properties that differ from those of non-storm coverage in the predicted fashion. We illustrate the effects of media storms on the public through discussion of four key examples, showing that online search behavior responds strongly to media storms.
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