In South Korea, approximately 88.5% of online users have obtained news and information from news aggregators such as Naver and Daum. Since most users read news on the internet, a new type of tabloid journalism, referred to as "news abuse," has emerged in South Korea. "News abuse" is jargon used in South Korea to mean the repetitive display of news by online news publishers. "News abuse" is similar to "clickbait" in its use of clickbait headline links to attract online users' attention and encourage them to click on links. This study explores the characteristics of news abusing phenomena in South Korea. With content analysis of 2101 articles (609 stories for soft news and 1402 stories for hard news), we attempt to investigate when news abuse saliently occurs and to whom news abusing is attributed. Our results show that news abuse is prevalent among South Korean newspapers during the first three hours after initial news reports are made and when people have time to rest after lunch between noon and 3 p.m. Moreover, the highest percentage of news abuse of soft news was found among tabloid daily newspapers, while that of hard news was found among daily newspapers. In addition, intermedia news abuse was more frequently utilized than intramedia news abuse. The percentage of intermedia abuse, in particular, was higher in general daily newspapers and business newspapers than in other news media platforms. By contrast, the percentage of intramedia news abuse was significantly higher in 24-h news channels. News abuse may be a side effect of news aggregation in the division of labor of news production and news distribution. More steps are required to decrease news abuse, which will lead to maintenance of a healthy digital news ecosystem and development of the news aggregation business.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the Soonchunhyang University Research Fund.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law