Understanding Believability of Entertainment vs. Science Satirical News Online in Context of Level of Satire and Source Reputability

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International Communication Association Annual Conference

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Japan, Fukuoka


Satirical news from websites such as onion.com have attracted news consumers into believing these stories as real. Hence, it is imperative to investigate the factors that attract news consumers into believing satirical news as true. This study examines believability of satirical news (entertainment vs. science) manipulating for levels of satire and source reputability. In experiment one, 80 participants viewed manipulated news stories measured as high and low on satire, while in experiment two, 64 participants viewed manipulated satirical stories with high-reputable and low-reputable sources from entertainment and science news. Results show believability is different across news types. Satire in science stories is not easily perceived as high-satire science news is perceived more believable than high-satire entertainment news. However, source reputability did not affect believability of satirical science news. Other findings and implications are discussed.


Journalism and Mass Communications

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