Dimensions of News Media Brand Personality

[June 22, 2010]

A new research study published in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly examines general and robust constructs of news media brand personality that are applicable across multiple news media outlets, including broadcast and cable news networks, national and local newspaper, and news magazines.

Through a series of rigorous exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis procedures with the final set of 48 personality traits, the authors show that that news media brand personality is composed of five dimensions: Trustworthiness, Dynamism, Sincerity, Sophistication, and Toughness.

One of the significant contributions of this study is to provide news media companies a reliable and valid method to assess their brand personality.

As for the Trustworthiness dimension, for example, the Wall Street Journal was perceived to be the most trustworthy news media brand. It appears that the Wall Street Journal is known as a business newspaper, and uses fewer photographs and graphics than most other newspapers. Respondents may associate the subject and predominance of text with personality attributes such as “smart” and “serious” included in the trustworthy factor.

From a practical standpoint, the news media brand personality dimensions proposed by the authors can be helpful for media companies. In particular, news media companies can understand and monitor their news media brand personality structure to see if it matches the brand identity that they are developing in the crowded media marketplace.

They can also take advantage of the proposed news media brand personality constructs for diagnosing and improving their strategies to attract audiences and advertisers. The study therefore will help media companies fine-tune their image to survive the competition by better serving media audiences.

Baek, T. H., Kim, J., & Martin, H. J. (2010). Dimensions of News Media Brand Personality. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 87(1), 119-136.

CONTACT: Tae Hyun Baek, Doctoral Candidate, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, taehyun@uga.edu; or Jooyoung Kim, Assistant Professor, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Georgia, jykim@uga.edu.

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