Journalism and Mass Communications, College of


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A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Journalism and Mass Communications, Under the Supervision of Professor Ming Wang. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Joseph Moore


Online news publishers are increasingly using sponsored content that assumes the format of the host site's editorial content. This has led to concern among some in the journalism industry that readers will be unable to distinguish advertising from news editorial. A content analysis and an experiment examined how publishers are formatting sponsored content and how readers are processing disclosure information for sponsored content. The results suggest that current labeling and disclosure practices may be inadequate in alerting readers to the commercial nature of sponsored content.

Adviser: Ming Wang