Abstract: Social media have become one of the most important news delivery channels due to their interactivity and large audiences. The content published by news organizations on social networking sites is of particular value to sociologists, because it allows measurement of users’ attitude to certain events. However, we understand that the media choose which events become news in accordance with certain criteria, such as news values. In this study, we decided to examine how news values determine the public’s response as expressed by likes, reposts, and comments. To analyze the characteristics of different media and their audiences, we selected four popular newsgroups on the social networking site Vkontakte: TASS and Russia Today, representing the state media, alongside RBC and Meduza, representing the private media. The posts of the selected newsgroups were coded and analyzed by means of Harcup and O’Neill taxonomy of values (2016). The study showed that news organizations tend to have preferences for some news values rather than others. Regression analysis revealed positive relationships between 1) the sharing of likes and good and entertaining content, 2) the sharing of comments and the presence of celebrities or conflicts in news, 3) the sharing of reposts and comments and significant events. An unexpected discovery was a negative dependency between the number of comments and the presence of exclusive content.
Keywords: audience; media agenda; news organizations; news values; newsworthiness; Russia; social media; social networks