Title
Effects of popular exemplars in television news Effects of popular exemplars in television news
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Social Sciences. Political Sciences
Publication type
article
Publication
Chicago, Ill. ,
Subject
Sociology
Mass communications
Source (journal)
Communication research. - Chicago, Ill., 1974, currens
Volume/pages
39(2012) :1 , p. 103-119
ISSN
0093-6502
1552-3810
ISI
000298961100005
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Common people that are apparently randomly selected by journalists to illustrate a news story (popular exemplars) have a substantial effect on what the audience think about the issue. This effect may be partly due to the mere fact that popular exemplars attract attention and act as attention commanders just like many other speaking sources in the news. Yet, popular exemplars effects extend well beyond that of other talking sources. Due to their similarity, trustworthiness, and the vividness of their account, popular exemplars have significantly more impact than experts that are being interviewed or, in particular, than politicians that are quoted in the news. We show this drawing on an internet-based experiment that uses fake television news items as stimuli and that systematically compares the effect of these talking sources in the news. We also find that taking into account preexisting attitudes changes the findings substantially. The effects are more robust and yield a more nuanced picture of what type of exemplars have what kind of effect on what type of public
E-info
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