To Polarize or Not: Comparing Networks of News Consumption

Iulia Cioroianu, Susan Banducci, Lorien Jasny, Iain Weaver, Hywel T P Williams, Travis Coan

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


We use individual data on browsing histories combined with survey data to examine whether online news exposure exhibits signs of segregation and selectivity. By using online news behaviour combined with survey reports of attitudes, we can capture exposure to both traditional news sources and news shared via social media platforms. Most importantly, we can also examine what types of individuals (e.g. partisans, educated) are more likely to exhibit selective tendencies. We find, consistent with recent empirical work, the extent of segregation in exposure may be overstated. Furthermore, the degree of segregation and selectivity varies across groups that are defined by holding shared political preferences. For example, in the case of Brexit, those who supported the ‘Leave’ side were more selective in their news exposure. Our approach allows comparison of news exposure patterns by domains versus news exposure to topics. To our knowledge, this is the first analysis to allow this comparison.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCeDEM Asia 2018
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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