Deciding What’s News: News-ness As an Audience Concept for the Hybrid Media Environment

Stephanie Edgerly*, Emily K. Vraga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


A by-product of today’s hybrid media system is that genres—once uniformly defined and enforced—are now murky and contested. We develop the concept of news-ness, defined as the extent to which audiences characterize specific content as news, to capture how audiences understand and process media messages. In this article, we (a) ground the concept of news-ness within research on media genres, journalism practices, and audience studies, (b) develop a theoretical model that identifies the factors that influence news-ness and its outcomes, and (c) situate news-ness within discussions about fake news, partisan motivated reasoning, and comparative studies of media systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-434
Number of pages19
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • audience
  • evaluations
  • genre
  • hybrid media
  • news
  • news values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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