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The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen

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Volume 40, Issue 1


Investigating people’s news diets: How online users use offline news

Damian Trilling
  • Department of Communication, University of Amsterdam,/associated with the Amsterdam School of Communication Research
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/ Klaus Schoenbach
Published Online: 2015-03-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2014-0028


The question how offline media use is related to online media use has been heavily debated in the last decades. If they are functionally equivalent, then advantages like low costs, rapid publication cycles, and easy access to online news could lead to them displacing offline news. Data from a large-scale survey with detailed questions about media use in the Netherlands show that, interestingly, the functions that online and offline media are used for are often the same: Those who use online media to gain a broad overview of the news, for fast updates, or for background information use offline media for the same purpose. There are some differences, though: For many citizens, the need of a broad overview of the news seems to be fulfilled by repertoires consisting of several outlets of different types, while they seem to have favorite specific outlets for news updates or background information, respectively. This suggests that outlets can especially focus on the latter two functions to distinguish themselves.

Keywords: news use; online news; complementarity; substitution; functions of news; news diets

About the article

Published Online: 2015-03-02

Published in Print: 2015-03-01

Citation Information: Communications, Volume 40, Issue 1, Pages 67–91, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2014-0028.

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