SAGE Journal Articles

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Uribe, R., & Gunter, B. (2007). Are “sensational” news stories more likely to trigger viewers’ emotions than non-sensational news stories? A content analysis of British TV news. European Journal of Communication, 22, 207-228. doi:10.1177/0267323107076770

This article considers whether “sensational” news stories are intrinsically more likely to elicit emotional responses in audiences than other TV news stories. The research analyses a sample of British televised news in respect of empirically validated attributes, to identify the presence of particular content elements that audience research has shown to possess emotion-eliciting capabilities. The results show that news stories traditionally classified as “sensational”--a term that implies a dramatic and therefore emotion-arousing imperative--do not necessarily contain more emotionally arousing features than other types of news story. Only crime stories (among the most frequently occurring “sensational” news categories) and, to a limited extent, political stories (a classic “non-sensational” news topic) provide clear manifestations of the presence of high and low emotion-laden attributes. Moreover, those topics containing more emotion-laden material are not the same over time or across public and commercial TV channels.

Sallot, L. M. (2002). What the public thinks about public relations: An impression management experiment. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 27, 150-171. doi:1177/107769900207900111

Impression management theories suggest that perceived motives of self-interest may explain the poor reputation sometimes attributed to public relations. A 4×2×2 factorial design experiment with 585 nonstudent adults and undergraduate students tested effects of motives, communication style, and licensing on the reputation of public relations. Perceived motives to impression manage in public relations, seen as advocacy behavior, had a main effect. Public relations was found to be less well-regarded when its practitioners were seen as acting with overt, intentional behaviors for self-gain compared with practitioners not appearing to be intentionally managing impressions. Mixed support was found for licensing as a means of enhancing reputation. Results of experimental tests suggest licensing may create a halo effect around selfishly motivated practitioners. The effect of one-way or two-way communication was in combination with the other factorial variables.