Study: Extremely Partisan Media Features Easier-to-Read Language Than Non-Partisan Media
A new study has found that ideological extremity and partisanship strength correlate with the use of easier-to-read language. The findings by Jay Hmielowski, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) Public Relations associate professor, and UFCJC doctoral student Jessica Sparks are featured in “At the Extremes: Assessing Readability, Grade Level, Sentiment, and Tone in U.S. Media Outlets” published in Journalism Studies on Nov. 17.
Hmielowski and Sparks examined readability, sentiment and tone of partisan media outlets and found that non-partisan outlets are harder to read than extremely partisan outlets, and that the patterns exist both on the right and left sides of the political spectrum.
According to the authors, “The results suggest that conservative outlets are not different in terms of reading ease compared to liberal outlets, which provides evidence that higher readability is not unique to conservative-leaning media outlets.”