How do users select news results on Google News? A new study by Sabrina Kessler (University of Zurich) and Ines Engelmann (University of Jena) has the answer to this question.
The aim of the study is to analyze the reasons behind users’ selection of news results on the news aggregator website, Google News, and the role that news factors play in this selection. The study assumes that user’s cognitive elaboration of users influences their news selection. A multi-method approach is used to obtain a complete picture of the users’ news selection reasoning: an open survey, a closed survey, and a content analysis of screen recording data. The results were determined from online news selection of 90 news results from 47 users on Google News. Different news values could be identified as relevant for selection: time-referenced news factors and news factors of social significance were shown to be more important than the news factors of deviance. News cues (presence of a picture, position of a news result, source) were identified as selection reasons regardless of the level of cognitive elaboration during the online browsing process.
Kessler, S. H. & Engelmann, I. (2018). Why do we click? Investigating reasons for user selection on a news aggregator website. Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research. DOI: 10.1515/commun-2018-2003