News finds me perception and democracy: Effects on political knowledge, political interest, and voting

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Abstract

Recent scholarship suggests that overreliance on social networks for news and public affairs is associated with the belief that one no longer needs to actively seek information. Instead, individuals perceive that the “news will find me” (NFM) and detach from the regular habit of traditional news consumption. This study examines effects of the NFM perception on political knowledge, political interest, and electoral participation. Drawing on a nationally representative panel survey from the United States (N = 997), this study finds that the NFM perception is negatively associated with both political knowledge and political interest across two time periods. The NFM perception also leads to negative, indirect effects on voting as the relationship is mediated through lower reported levels of political knowledge and interest in politics. The findings add to current conversations about the ability of personalized information networks to adequately inform and engage the public.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1253-1271
Number of pages19
JournalNew Media and Society
Volume21
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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