Laia Castro Article IJPP Published.pdf (2.35 MB)
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Navigating high-choice European political information environments: A comparative analysis of news user profiles and political knowledge

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journal contribution
posted on 18.05.2021, 10:32 by Laia Castro, Jesper Stromback, Frank Esser, Peter Van Aelst, Claes de Vreese, Toril Aalberg, Ana Sofia Cardenal, Nicoleta Corbu, David Hopmann, Karolina Koc-Michalska, Jorg Matthes, Cristian Schemer, Tamir Sheafer, Sergio Splendore, James StanyerJames Stanyer, Agnieszka Stepinska, Vaclav StetkaVaclav Stetka, Yannis Theocharis
The transition from low- to high-choice media environments has had far-reaching implications for citizens’ media use and its relationship with political knowledge. However, there is still a lack of comparative research on how citizens combine the usage of different media and how that is related to political knowledge. To fill this void, we use a unique cross-national survey about the online and offline media use habits of more than 28,000 individuals in 17 European countries. Our aim is to (i) profile different types of news consumers and (ii) understand how each user profile is linked to political knowledge acquisition. Our results show that five user profiles – news minimalists, social media news users, traditionalists, online news seekers, and hyper news consumers – can be identified, although the prevalence of these profiles varies across countries. Findings further show that both traditional and online-based news diets are correlated with higher political knowledge. However, online-based news use is more widespread in Southern Europe, where it is associated with lower levels of political knowledge than in Northern Europe. By focusing on news audiences, this study provides a comprehensive and fine-grained analysis of how contemporary European political information environments perform and contribute to an informed citizenry.


Network of European Political Communication Scholars (NEPOCS)

The Illiberal Turn? News Consumption, Polarization and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe

Economic and Social Research Council

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  • Social Sciences and Humanities


  • Communication and Media

Published in

International Journal of Press/Politics


SAGE Publications


VoR (Version of Record)

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© The authors

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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Sage under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at:

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Dr Vaclav Stetka. Deposit date: 14 May 2021