News and film : preferred partnerships – assessing the efficacy of documentaries and feature films for augmenting the reflective integration of news stories.

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Recent research has attempted to understand the relationships between film and journalism. Some articles address how we process content using image schemas, and some analyze the benefits of social media versus traditional news to generate public awareness. Others, how viewers empathize with characters which helps to process the information. Few studies have attempted to quantitatively measure the impact of film’s ability to augment the viewer’s desire to understand the subject presented – specifically, to what degree the viewer has reflected on the news conveyed. This research will expand utilization of schema theory and information processing theory by observing the capacity of two types of media - feature films and documentaries - to improve critical reflection on news of historical significance. This experiment (N=119) demonstrates that film leads to higher levels of reflective integration than traditional news articles, and within film types that documentaries lead to more reflective integration than feature films.

News. Film. Schema. Information processing. Reflective integration.