What draws people to certain types of news videos and not others?

PEJ created a broad list of the visual appeal that came through in the videos.   

More than a third (35%) of the videos depicted devastating or intensely graphic images. These included videos that demonstrated the dramatic impact of the Japanese tsunami or the violence that occurred during some Middle East protests.

Another roughly one-third of the most popular videos (31%) spoke to a controversy of some kind. In some cases, the video was presented in a mocking manner. For example, one shared video was a 2011 news report detailing Sarah Palin’s re-telling of the