How journalists think while they write: A transcultural model of news decision making

Bu Zhong, John E. Newhagen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


This study explored how U.S. and Chinese journalists (N = 120) made news decisions in a transcultural context. It proposed a model of news decision making, drawing on 3 intellectual traditions-media effects, study, cognitive psychology, and decision making. To test the model, it employed a 2×2×3 factorial repeated-measures design, where the factors were nationality (United States or China), beat (overseas or domestic), and repeated measure (story topic). Results confirmed the model's validity and showed that participants, regardless of nationality, used more effort in processing cognitive news elements and included them more in the stories than those at cultural or rational level. Surprisingly, the attention they gave to cognitive information was so counterintuitive that it might point to the possibility of an ever-increasing globalization in journalistic standards.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-608
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Communication
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2009


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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