Raising clickworthiness: Effects of foregrounding news values in online newspaper headlines

Luuk Lagerwerf, Charlotte Govaert

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


What attracts news readers in headlines? Many news websites test alternative headlines in order to assess which headline generates more clicks (A/B testing). In order to raise clickworthiness, headlines may emphasize news values including Negativity, Novelty and Eliteness. Headlines may also employ forward referencing (‘This is what you need to know’), or language intensity (‘Worst storm in decades’). Systematic analysis of A/B test data helps to identify characteristics of successful headlines. Using a data set provided by a Dutch national newspaper, headline characteristics are compared as to which incite more clicks, or, more specifically, click-through rates (CTR). The results indicate that besides language intensity and forward referencing, only the news value Negativity has a positive influence on CTR.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNews Values from an Audience Perspective
EditorsMartina Temmerman, Jelle Mast
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783030450465
ISBN (Print)9783030450458
Publication statusPublished - 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Raising clickworthiness: Effects of foregrounding news values in online newspaper headlines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this