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Video Killed the Copy Editor? Comparing Multimodal Framing Effects in News Videos and Articles

Fri, May 26, 9:30 to 10:45, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Floor: 2, Indigo Ballroom B


Current technology allows videos shot at the scene of far-flung news events to be instantly beamed across the world, making it easier for audiences to experience the visceral reality of stories than ever before. But do vivid news videos have a meaningful impact on citizens’ political opinions and behaviours compared to news articles that use text and images? In an experiment we used carefully matched videos and articles depicting counter-frames from the European refugee crisis to compare the relative power of medium on framing effects. Counter to expectations, results show that articles produced stronger effects on intentions to help refugees than videos, and this was mediated by the depth to which the news story was processed. Moreover, the effect of the verbal frame was especially strong in article form compared to video form. These findings provide clear insights for journalism practice and multimodal framing theory by showing that, despite their increasing prominence, news videos do not deliver more powerful effects than news articles.