LAWRENCE, Kan. (CBSNewYork) — A new University of Kansas study suggest people are craving more civilized and positive news coverage of their world.
Assistant professor of communications Ashley Muddiman set up four categories of news stories to test: civil, uncivil, traditional and entertainment.
In her experiment, Muddiman took stories about a 2017 budget battle in the Kansas legislature but removed identifying details. She varied the headlines to fit the civil/uncivil dichotomy and placed them next to political and entertainment stories. She then asked 480 people what they would to like to read.
“Things that are more neutral are less likely to get engagement,” she said. “Positivity does work, but it can’t be merely a lack of negativity. It must be something that looks like people are solving a problem.”