The Short List

The short list for the Bob Franklin Journal Article Award for best article published in Digital Journalism, Journalism Practice and Journalism Studies is below. Each article is accompanied by a detailed commentary from the selection committee, and all three articles are free to read until 30 April 2019.

Digital Journalism

Effective Headlines of Newspaper Articles in a Digital Environment
Digital Journalism Volume 5 Issue 10 (2017)
Jeffrey Kuiken, Anne Schuth, Martijn Spitters & Maarten Marx

This original article addresses a very timely and important area, developing and applying an innovative method for analysis, and presenting unique findings. Its focus and conceptual development is relevant to scholars interested in key changes in journalism and digital journalism, in light of transforming commercial- and algorithmic logics. It is a pioneering study focusing on how clickbait headlines perform on news distribution platforms, and in particular explores this performance in platforms adopting new business models. The paper presents an innovative method for analysis which can be applied to future research. In this study, it is used for investigating the connections between language characteristics of headlines and users’ ‘clicking through’ to read news stories. Other scholars in journalism studies will certainly be able to build on this method, as well as the findings, in future research which explores the relationship between headlines – and in particular clickable headlines – and reader engagement. Thus, this study holds potential to truly shape future research. The findings are worthwhile to the field of journalism studies, but also to students and practitioners of journalism who weigh such considerations in their practices. In a convincing way, the authors conclude that “Short words, the absence of a question, the absence of a quote, the inclusion of signal words, the inclusion of pronouns, and the inclusion of sentimental words are all characteristics of an effective headline”. With 50,014 downloads to date, this article has already caught the attention of scholars, students, and practitioners around the world.


Journalism Practice

How is Participation Practiced by ‘In-Betweeners’ of Journalism?
Journalism Practice Volume 11 Issue 2-3 (2017)
Laura Ahva

Alva’s work is conceptually elegant, thorough, insightful and accessible. It has lasting potential for future research in journalism and offers important practical guidance for journalism professionals. This research assesses the activities of in betweeners (rather than full time journalists nor typical audience members) in the nation states of France, Sweden and Finland. The international perspective is excellent and contributes to new ways of thinking about how the field of journalism has evolved and changed. The research is solid and is a much needed attempt to explore the rise of newer types of journalistic agents (commonly known as citizen journalists). This conceptual article has real-world practical applications and connections for future research and offers great guidance for the practice of journalism.


Journalism Studies

What is news? News values revisited (again)
Journalism Studies Volume 18 Issue 12 (2017)
Tony Harcup & Deirdre O’Neill

This article continues a long and important line of journalism studies scholarship, bringing the study of news values into the 21st century through its consideration of digital developments. The study provides a comprehensive analysis of news value research, and is innovative in combining analysis of news values in printed newspaper stories with the most shared stories on social media. It therefore takes account of the increasingly important audience dimension in journalism studies scholarship. The resulting taxonomy, which is original, yet grounded in 50 years of news values research, will be of immense value to researchers into the future. The article has already been well received in the field: Since publication, it has garnered 68 citations (Google Scholar), and more than 50,000 views on the journal’s website, making it by far its most-read article. Like its 2001 predecessor, this article is bound to be a classic study for the field.


The Final Decision

In addition to Professor Bob Franklin, the membership of the Awarding Panel is:

  • Professor Kaori Hayashi, Professor of Media and Journalism Studies, the University of Tokyo
  • Professor Seth Lewis, Shirley Pape Chair in Emerging Media, University of Oregon
  • Professor Jane Singer, Director of Research and Professor of Innovation Journalism, City University of London
  • Professor Herman Wasserman, Professor of Media Studies and Director of the Centre for Film and Media Studies, the University of Cape Town

The winning article will be announced in October 2018.