Research note: Online and print newspapers their impact on the extent of the perceived public agenda

  • Schoenbach K
  • De Waal E
  • Lauf E
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Abstract

Printed newspapers are known to widen the range of public topics, events and issues their audience is aware of. There are reasons to assume that their online counterparts help increase their audience’s perceived agenda to a lesser extent. The way print newspapers are structured and used is supposed to lure readers into reading stories they may not have been interested in beforehand. Online papers support more activity and control by their users; becoming aware of a narrower range of topics according to one’s individual interests is more plausible. A representative survey of almost 1000 respondents shows it is more complicated than that. Both channels in fact contribute to widening the audience agenda. But whereas online newspapers show this effect only in the highest educated group of society, print newspapers are able to expand the horizon of those whose range of interests is at most average.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Agenda-setting
  • Media effects
  • Newspapers
  • Online newspapers
  • The Netherlands

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Authors

  • Klaus Schoenbach

  • Ester De Waal

  • Edmund Lauf

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