News-ness and Hybridity of News: What Audiences Consider News in Ghana
Today's information ecosystem generates a news media landscape that is multi-faceted and open beyond the traditional news-democracy narrative. Using an audience-centered approach in a survey of 419 respondents, we examined the types of media messages audiences characterize as news and the rating of news-ness of news outlets. Regarding media content, breaking news was the highest rated for news-ness, followed by fact-checking. News stories infused with humor, outrage, and satirical angles were rated high, implying some hybrid news content in the Ghanaian media environment. Moreover, audiences' assessment of news sources indicates well-known legacy news organizations receiving the highest news-ness rating, after which well-known partisan sources came. Unfamiliar sources were rated low. The implication is that audiences are conscious of fake news in their news sources.