I may be part of the problem; I often let the google news page tell me what's up and those algorithms sense when readers respond, and they may respond the way the crowd runs towards the sound of someone shouting "fight!"

Question: Has political reporting in the US shifted towards using more graphical violent imagery in headlines in the past decade? Has this been quantified?

note: I'm not asking "Do you think...?" I've asked for sources that have made an effort to quantify the use of "graphical violent imagery in headlines".

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    Certainly the volume has been raised a notch ever since Fox News rose to prominence, and its ideological counterparts like CNN and MSNBC mirrored its style. IMO the tabloid format toward became standard around the end of the Obama period, as internet media shrank the traditional news market and increased pressures for ratings. The media goldmine of the Trump admin relieved the pressure, but wide adoption of Twitter's postage-stamp format put the hyperbole on overdrive. Also I'm not sure if contemporary use of 'slam' implies any physical violence -- can be a synonym for any direct criticism.
    – Pete W
    Dec 20, 2021 at 7:56
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    headlines are indeed more click-bait-y. You can likely blame social media managers more than the newsroom, going viral is an important revenue line. A few years back i ran a sentiment analysis on foxnews and cnn headlines, and fox was certainly more negative, but I wasn't looking for violence in particular.
    – dandavis
    Dec 25, 2021 at 20:47
  • @dandavis thanks for your comment, I see that sentiment analysis is a well established thing which suggests one can use the term in a search of academic publications (along with whatever term might cover "lights up", "crushes" and "slams") I have no experience searching political science literature but if nothing further comes up here I can give it a try. Dec 26, 2021 at 0:04
  • The time frame is relevant. In the late 19th century and early 20th century most media outlets had declared political allegiances and tended toward florid and provocative headlines. Today, that news reporting style, exemplified by wonkette.com and to a lesser degree tabloid newspapers, like the New York Post, is rare in news reporting. Relative media neutrality was more of a WWII and post-WWII thing.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 14, 2023 at 22:11
  • @ohwilleke interesting tos! I like this longer timescale perspective, and thinking about it, it rings true; yes boxing-match characterizations of politics were indeed part of old-style headlines (from what little I recall, probably from newspaper references in old movies). Maybe my "...in the last decade" is coming more from some relatively recent events in US politics that triggered me to start reading much more and in more detail than ever before (trying to avoid using the word "obsessively"). Aug 14, 2023 at 22:36


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