The current news media landscape is characterized by an abundance of digital outlets and increased opportunities for users to navigate news themselves. Yet, it is still unclear how people negotiate this fluctuating environment to decide which news media to select or ignore, how they assemble distinctive cross-media repertoires, and what makes these compositions meaningful. This article analyzes the value of different platforms, genres and practices in everyday life by mapping patterns of cross-media news use. Combining Q methodology with think-aloud protocols and day-in-the-life-interviews, five distinct news media repertoires are identified: 1) regionally-oriented 2) background-oriented 3) digital 4) laid-back and 5) nationally-oriented news use. Our findings indicate that users do not always use what they prefer, nor do they prefer what they use. Moreover, the boundaries they draw between news and other information are clearly shifting. Finally, our results show that in a world with a wide range of possibilities to consume news for free, paying for news can be considered an act of civic engagement. We argue that perceived news use and users’ appreciation of news should be studied in relation to each other to gain a fuller understanding of what news consumption entails in this rapidly changing media landscape.
Swart, J., Peters, C., & Broersma, M. (2017). Navigating cross-media news use: Media repertoires and the value of news in everyday life. Journalism Studies, 18(11), 1343-1362. https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2015.1129285