Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Journalism

Advisor

Minor, Ray

Reader

Quinn , William

Second Reader

Fosu , Ignatius

Third Reader

Billings, Sabrina

Abstract

Newspaper readability plays an important role in how well people perceive and understand the paper. A text’s reading level is one of the main contributors to the document’s readability, so testing articles’ reading level is a way to gauge how a newspaper is serving an area. Newspaper reading levels are also a reflection of the community. Historically, Arkansas has had low reading and literacy levels. Using an average of five readability calculators, this study tests the readability of Arkansas newspapers in comparison to reading levels of newspapers around the nation. Arkansas newspapers averaged nearly a full reading level lower than the other papers, showing that Arkansas still has room for improvement to become competitive nationally. Newspapers face a lot of competition from other types of media, so testing readability is an excellent tool for editors to strike a balance between informing and educating their readers, ensuring appeal and comprehension.

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