Polarization as a Function of Citizen Predispositions and Exposure to News on the Internet

David H Tewksbury, Julius Matthew Riles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Observers of democratic polities decry a seeming increase in social and political polarization. This article outlines the conditions under which Internet-based news exposure can facilitate polarization. Analyses of data from a nationally representative United States panel study reveal that frequency of news consumption over the Internet can widen disagreements between Democrats and Republicans over a wide range of social and political issues. The results reveal few signs of a similar Internet news exposure effect for disagreement linked to race and income. These findings point to some possible mechanisms of, and limitations to, processes driving social and political polarization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-398
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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