Edited By Esther Thorson, Mitchell S. McKinney and Dhavan Shah
Chapter Nineteen: Developing Media Preferences in a Post-Broadcast Democracy
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Developing Media Preferences IN A Post-Broadcast Democracy
STEPHANIE EDGERLY AND KJERSTIN THORSON
Today’s media environment provides individuals with a wide array of media to choose from. Sports enthusiasts have multiple websites and television channels to satisfy their thirst for specific types of sports content, as do fans of reality shows, documentaries, and even news and public affairs enthusiasts. The rapid increase in media choice over the past 2 decades has generated increased scholarly concern for the role of individual preferences in determining exposure to diverse forms of media content (Mindich, 2005; Patterson, 2008; Prior, 2007). When greater media choice exists, preferences are more predictive of media viewing behavior (Cho, Gil de Zuniga, Rojas, & Shah, 2003; Youn, 1994). Recent studies suggest that preferences for specific types of content as well as levels of political interest are growing in importance as predictors of news consumption in particular (Baumgartner & Morris, 2010; Morris, 2005; Prior, 2007; Rittenberg, Tewksbury, & Casey, 2012; Strömbäck, Djerf-Pierre, & Shehata, 2012).
Given this concern with media preferences, there is an increasing call for research that explores the origins of preferences for news or entertainment content. This chapter takes a media socialization approach to understanding the emergence of preferences for news versus entertainment television content. In what follows, we trace the development of preferences for news and entertainment television content among 12–17-year-olds over the run-up to the 2008 presidential election....
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