English title: Tuning out the World of News and Current Affairs—An Empirical Study of Europe’s Disconnected Citizens

Author(s): Arild Blekesaune - Eiri Elvestad - Toril Aalberg -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2012


Previously it has been perceived as a citizen’s duty to follow the news and to keep oneself informed about politics and current affairs. Recently however, it appears as if a growing number of citizens ignore the information opportunities given to them. Changes in the media environment have given people cross-nationally more of a choice as to which media diet they prefer, and for the American case, Prior (2007, Post-Broadcast Democracy. How Media Choice Increases inequality in Political Involvement and Polarize Elections. New York: Cambridge University Press) have demonstrated that in an era of cable TV and Internet, people more readily remove themselves from political knowledge and political action then they did before. Thus, in this article we study those who tune out the world of news and current affairs. We ask if there is an increase of what we call disconnected citizens across Europe. We also ask who these disconnected citizens are and discuss why they have tuned out. Based on pooled data from four waves of the European Social Survey, covering 33 European countries, using several innovative multilevel analyse techniques we demonstrate how national context or the media environment moderates the influence of individual level factors in news consumption.

Volume: 28

Issue: 1

From page no: 110

To page no: 126

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/ESR/JCQ051

Journal: European Sociological Review

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