Introduction: News consumption as a democratic resource – News media repertoires across Europe

Hanna Adoni, Zrinjka Peruško, Hillel Nossek, Kim Christian Schrøder

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This article introduces the Special Section of Participations, in which audience researchers from twelve mostly European countries report on a joint comparative research project about repertoires of news consumption and their democratic implications. The first part outlines theoretical and analytical challenges for news audience research arising from the rapid transformations in current media landscapes, notably the emergence of digital, mobile and social media. We briefly describe our theoretical indebtedness to Jürgen Habermas’s theory of the public sphere, and the recent attempts to redefine the classical notions of democratic citizenship towards the everyday lifeworld. The second part describes the project’s anchorage in media systems theory, according to which national mediascapes can be compared not just on a one-to-one basis, but in terms of their potential membership of one of a finite number of supranational media systems defined in terms of shared structural and institutional characteristics. The third part describes the project’s unique fieldwork design, which followed a tailor-made version of Q-methodology for building audience news repertoires with greater transparency and reliability than is possible with traditional qualitative methods. This introduction thus provides the shared framework of understanding within which the Special Section’s contributions should be read: The first section includes ten articles, which each presents the findings from one national analysis of national repertoires of news consumption. The second section presents four articles, which in different ways embark on comparative analyses of news repertoires enabled by the Q-methodological framework.
TidsskriftParticipations.Journal of audience and reception studies
Udgave nummer2
Sider (fra-til)226-252
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2017

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