Logan Molyneux, of Temple University, examined how civically engaged individuals consume various types of news content across multiple platforms. The data was collected using an online survey for US adults, 1500 participants answering questions about their news consumption habits, civic and political participation, and demographic information.
The study asked about the use of six platforms: smartphone, printed newspaper, TV, laptop or desktop computer, radio, and tablet. The research shows that getting news on all the six platforms (about 29% of respondents) is most beneficial for civic engagement. This may be because different platforms have complementary strengths and weaknesses, the author states.
Not all platforms were found to be equally helpful. TV news was associated with lower levels of engagement. Crime, breaking news, and weather are often seen in local newscasts, but have negative effects on civic engagement, the author writes.
“Those seeking to encourage civic engagement among news consumers should consider the multiplatform nature of news consumption and seek to meet news audiences across all distribution formats”, the study concludes.
The article ”Multiplatform news consumption and its connections to civic engagement“ was published in Journalism and is available online (abstract free).
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