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Saddest, angriest and jolliest regional press readers revealed in new study

IanCarterEditorialDirectorKM (1)The regional news titles with the angriest, saddest, jolliest and most shocked readers have been uncovered by new research.

A study has used Facebook “emojis” – images used to express certain emotions – to examine the reaction readers have to news stories posted by publishers on the social network.

Researchers found that, of the most-viewed regional news websites online, Kent Online readers were both the saddest and the angriest, with the “sad” emoji accounting for 39pc of all reactions to the Iliffe Media-owned title’s Facebook content and the “angry” icon taking a further 23pc share.

The report by marketing agency Embryo further found Belfast Telegraph readers were most likely to use the “haha” or “laughter” emoji, which represented 29pc of its reactions”, while the Manchester Evening News ranked highest when it came to use of the “love” emoji – preferred by 37pc of its Facebook followers.

Honours for the “wow” emoji charts were jointly topped by the Bristol Post, Leicester Mercury and The Scotsman, for whom one in 10 readers preferred the icon typically used to express shock.

The regional titles chosen to form part of the study were chosen based on rankings by media industry website Muck Rack showing the most visited news websites in the UK.

Expressing his own reaction to the findings, Iliffe Media editorial director Ian Carter, pictured, told HTFP: “We want our stories to spark a reaction from readers, whether that’s sad, happy, angry or surprised – anything but bored, really.

“The county has found itself at the centre of some of the most divisive topics in recent years, including Brexit and small boat crossings, and while we report accurately and impartially, people will always have an opinion.”

Chloe Pryce, Embryo’s senior digital PR expert, said: “The purpose of the report is to equip digital news publications with the insight needed on evolving audiences, allowing them to tailor their strategies and navigate the digital landscape effectively.

“Through understanding generational preferences and the potential of social media distribution, publications can survive and thrive in a competitive media environment.”

A full table showing each emoji by percentage of use among participating regional titles’ readers can be found below.

Title Angry Emoji Haha Emoji Love Emoji Sad Emoji Wow Emoji
Belfast Telegraph 18% 22% 17% 36% 7%
Bristol Post 17% 29% 18% 25% 10%
The Chronicle, Newcastle 16% 21% 28% 28% 7%
Kent Online 23% 12% 19% 39% 8%
Leicester Mercury 19% 21% 17% 34% 10%
Manchester Evening News 13% 17% 37% 26% 7%
MyLondon 14% 20% 33% 24% 9%
Nottingham Post 12% 26% 24% 30% 8%
The Scotsman 21% 22% 25% 22% 10%
The Northern Echo 22% 14% 24% 31% 9%
Wales Online 15% 19% 24% 33% 9%