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The past few decades of journalism studies have been characterized by a focus on change, from the transforming digital media ecology, to shifting usage patterns, transitioning business models, and other pressing developments. However, specifying such changes in relation to news audiences and engagement is challenging. This article aims to unfold the complexity of consumption to specify different processes of changing news use. Employing an abductive approach that augments existing literature with a study on the processes and catalysts of transformation, we develop a heuristic framework to explicate changing news repertoires. The framework establishes where change takes place, explores what qualities change has, examines what dynamic factors drive change, and ultimately elaborates a more precise vocabulary to identify different change processes. Further specifying and modelling the exploration and elaboration phases, the article details how deliberateness, permanence, and scale vary the intensity and direction of change, before developing a typology that systematizes different analytical characteristics of how news media become part of (emergence), exist within (maintenance), and are removed from (disappearance) an individual’s media repertoire. The article provides a detailed, systematic, and innovative approach to analyze news use, providing scholars with a comprehensive, actionable framework for qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research to better understand what, exactly, repertoire change ‘is’. In terms of applicability, the theoretical perspective developed alerts us to the fact that changing news use is often conceptualized by audiences in association with non-journalistic, contextual considerations, which are key to whether or not the potential for changing news use is actualized.
Bibliografisk noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by Det Frie Forskningsråd. This article is part of the research project “Beyond the Here and Now of News”, funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark, see www.ruc.dk/en/beyond-news .
© The Author(s) 2022.
- News Audiences
- News Use