Cross-National versus Individual Differences' in Political Information: A Media System Perspective
Curran, James P.; Ivengar, Shanto; Brink Lund, Anker; Salovaara-Moring, Inka; Hahn, Kyu S and Coen, Sharon. 2010. Cross-National versus Individual Differences' in Political Information: A Media System Perspective. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 20(3), pp. 291-309. ISSN 1745-7289 [Article]No full text available
Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1745728...
Abstract or Description
We propose a context‐dependent approach to the study of political information. Combining a content analysis of broadcast news with a national survey measuring public awareness of various events, issues, and individuals in the news, we show that properties of national media systems influence both the supply of news and citizens’ awareness of events in the news. Public service‐oriented media systems deliver hard news more frequently than market‐based systems. It follows that for citizens living under public service regimes, the opportunity costs of exposure to hard news are significantly lowered. Lowered costs allow less interested citizens to acquire political knowledge. Our analyses demonstrate that the knowledge gap between the more and less interested is widest in the US and smallest in Scandinavia.