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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 21.07.2022, 15:41 authored 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.

Funding

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

Economic and Social Research Council

Find out more...

Network of European Political Communication Scholars (NEPOCS)

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Communication and Media

Published in

The International Journal of Press/Politics

Volume

27

Issue

4

Pages

827 - 859

Publisher

SAGE Publications

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© The authors

Publisher statement

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: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Acceptance date

23/03/2021

Publication date

2021-05-11

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

1940-1612

eISSN

1940-1620

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Vaclav Stetka. Deposit date: 14 May 2021