Clicking may increase credibility

Author: Stephanie Berger

Publication: Breaking Up News – An Investment in the Future?, paper presented to the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication 2001 convention, available in the AEJMC archive.

In the study, 125 students in a University of Florida advertising class read one of two groups of news stories online: One was designed in a linear presentation, the other in a non-linear, hypertext fashion. Readers of the non-linear presentations perceived the news source as being more credible. Berger suggested that creating effective nonlinear hypertexts might be one way that online newspapers could enhance reader satisfaction and perceptions of news credibility. Berger adds: “If journalists start writing for nonlinear hypertexts, they will develop the kind of texts that are more easily distributed to a variety of electronic devices, more usable on those devices, and possibly more satisfying to online news consumers in the long run.”

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