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  1. 1. News Consumption Revisited: Examining the Power of Habits in the 21st Century Angela M. Lee Ph.D. Candidate Annenberg School for Communication University of Pennsylvania 11th International Symposium on Online Journalism April 24th, 2010 // Austin, TX Michael X. Delli Carpini Dean Annenberg School for Communication University of Pennsylvania
  2. 2. The New Era: Journalism In Transition  Optimism among 1st wave of online journalism studies: Internet liberates news information.  “A revolution”; “future of journalism”; “a whole new journalism”  Q: How does the Internet make a difference in online news consumption?  Democratize news information?
  3. 3. Online News: Old Wine in New Bottle?  Dominance of tradition news entities online  Supply most news content;  “Shovelware” of content;  Have most traffic.  Hindman (2008): “Accessibility does not equate visibility”  In theory: Internet allows all voices to be heard  In practice: Only those with megaphones are heard (i.e., Yahoo, MSNBC, CNN)  “Myth of digital democracy”
  4. 4. (New) Theory of Media Attendance  Def.: People lapse into habitual patterns of media consumption when supply > demand.  Habits = “gratifications” in U&G, but rarely examined in Communication research  Habits: An activity that is routinely performed, and often developed early on in one’s life.  Primacy  Frequency
  5. 5. Habits & Digital Divides  Contemporary Americans have grown up in three different news media and technological environments:  Digital Natives (18-29): Print’s less central, TV&Radio news are still influential but declining. Grew up with Internet.  Digital Immigrants (30-64): TV&Radio news dominated, though print was still important. Adopted the Internet later in life.  Digital Settlers (65+): Print dominated, TV&Radio news on the rise. Grew up in analog-only environments Source: Palfrey & Grasser, 2008
  6. 6. Data & Method  Biennial Media Consumption Survey 2008 (BMCS) by the Pew Research Center for the People & The Press  N=3600 nationally representative sample of adults  Survey administered from April 29-May 21, 2008  Logistic Regression Analysis  SPSS 17.  Chi-squares, Gamma and OLS also performed, and all findings yield the same conclusion as that of Logistic Regression Analysis
  7. 7. H1a-d & H2a-d  In traditional media landscape…  H1a: Settlers’ (65+) primary & most frequented news medium = Print  H1b-c: Immigrants’ (30-64) primary & most frequented news medium = TV/Radio  H1d: Natives’ (18-29) primary & most frequented news medium = Internet  As would be expected, all hypotheses are supported, except for TV news use.  Q: TV?
  8. 8. Post-Hoc Analysis of TV Usage (freq.) N= 271 Broadcast: ABC, NBC, CBS Cable: CNN, MSNBC, ESPN, CNBC, FOX, BBC
  9. 9. H3a-d (Migration of Offline Habits Online)  Specific websites that one turns to online will be influenced by one’s offline consumption habits  H3a: Settlers (65+): Primarily visit print newspaper sites  H3b,c: Immigrants (30-64): Primarily visit TV/radio sites  H3d: Natives (18-29): Primarily visit non- traditional news sites  i.e., Drudge, Digg, Slate, Topix, Blackamericaweb, Charter,
  10. 10. …H3e  Being natural inhabitants of the Internet, Natives (18-29) will visit a greater variety of news websites than Immigrants or Settlers.
  11. 11. H3a-d Findings Newspaper:  TV: Half  Radio:  Untraditional:  Note: CNN, MSNBC and Fox = 70% of TV news sites Q: Untraditional: Weird pattern? 6% total Settlers; Small N N= 485 *See paper for logistic regression analyses*
  12. 12. Post-Hoc: “YI” (30-47) look more like Natives; “SI” (48-64) look more like Settlers. Q: Convergence of online news uses among younger population? N= 485
  13. 13. H3e Findings (Supported)  Significantly more natives (29%) reported a greater variety of news sources than immigrants (27%) or settlers (11%). Also:
  14. 14. Limitations  Suitability of data  Exploratory in nature  Possibility of alternative explanations Nonetheless…  Emergence of interesting patterns  Suggestive role of habits both offline and online
  15. 15. Implications 1. Habits dictate traditional news medium choices 2. Habitual offline news uses influence online news uses 3. Even if there is accessibility and visibility, as long as news consumers don’t have the habit of seeking alternative sources, “digital democracy” is merited only in theory but not practice 4. Possible maturation of habitual news uses over time 5. Younger population (18-47) is converging in their online news use patterns
  16. 16. Future of (Online) Journalism?  “We can only change what we understand” (G.S. Adam, 1993)  We need to understand why and how people consume news across media  Angela’s forthcoming dissertation: Examining news consumption via Uses & Gratifications + Integrative Model of Behavior Change
  17. 17. Thank you for your time and attention Angela M. Lee Michael X. Delli Carpini Photo by: Angela M. Lee

Editor's Notes

  • Note: Natives do watch less TV than Immigrants, but Settlers watch more TV than Immigrants (both in Primacy and Frequency)
  • TV websites: Interestingly, it’s the flip of traditional TV use because now Natives (as opposed to Settlers) use it more than Immigrants
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