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Browsing by Author "Raatikainen, Eveliina Laura Erika"

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  • Raatikainen, Eveliina Laura Erika (2022)
    This thesis compares the construction of news values in real and fake news stories. As fake news has acquired the ability to mimic real news stories and they have even been claimed to have influenced the outcome of major political events, the aim is to study news coverage prior to the 2020 US presidential elections. Comparison between real and fake news is carried out by analyzing how a set of news values are being constructed in real versus fake news stories. News values are regarded as the newsworthy aspects of events, and they function as guidelines of a kind in structuring a news piece. Therefore, the aim of the study is to answer how nine news values, negativity, timeliness, proximity, personalization, superlativeness, eliteness, impact, novelty and consonance, are constructed in the context of political statements prior to the 2020 US elections and compare what types of differences can be identified between real and fake news stories. The material of this thesis consists of twelve news articles collected from the US news media. As the aim is to compare two different types of news, six of the collected articles are real and six of them are fake news stories. Additionally, as the focus of this thesis is to study news coverage prior to the 2020 US elections, half of the collected articles are based on statements made by Joe Biden and half by Donald Trump as they acted as the presidential candidates in the 2020 elections. The selected articles have been collected by using a fact-checking website called PolitiFact. As previous research of news values has highlighted the need for taking the context into consideration in the analysis of news values, each of the articles collected for this thesis have been analyzed through close reading. This has allowed for the full context to be taken into consideration while performing analysis on the presented set of news values. The results show that news values occur more in fake news than real ones. If news values define the newsworthiness of a story, this would imply that fake news stories can be regarded as more newsworthy than real ones which is an alarming finding. Even though news values were expected to be found in both real and fake news stories, they were not expected to occur so frequently in fake news compared to the real ones. Another significant finding to emerge is that some news values can offer even more favorable starting point for fake news than to real news in terms of highlighting the newsworthy aspects of an event. However, no definite conclusions can be drawn as further analysis focusing solely on the content of the articles would be required to answer the question of newsworthiness.