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Kim, Chan Woo and Park, Hyejin and Lee, Yenn and Park, Han Woo (2018) 'Towards the operationalization of controversial news: A study of online news articles and reader comments during the 2017 presidential election in South Korea.' Quality & Quantity.

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In this brief research note, we propose a set of concepts and methods for identifying and operationalizing controversial news items. Based on an analysis of online readers’ comments posted in response to political news articles in the lead-up to the most recent South Korean presidential election (May 9, 2017), we develop what we term as “controversy indicator.” We calculate a controversy score using the total number of reader comments and the proportion of “upvotes” (indicating approval) and “downvotes” (indicating disapproval) a given news article elicits. Our findings demonstrate the potential usefulness of the controversy indicator in understanding the contemporary news environment, which is becoming increasingly divisive and polluted with disinformation.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Controversy indicator, Election, News consumption polarization, Online news, Reader comment, South Korea
SOAS Departments & Centres: Regional Centres and Institutes > Centre of Korean Studies
SOAS Doctoral School
ISSN: 00335177
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2018 08:58
Funders: Other

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