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The European Journal of Communication Research

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

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The emergence of the hybrid older reader: A cross-national study

Hanna Adoni
  • Department of Journalism and Communication Hebrew University of Jerusalem Sammy Ofer School of Communication Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center Jerusalem Israel
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/ Galit Nimrod
  • Galit Nimrod Department of Communication Studies The Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Aging Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Beer Sheva Israel
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Published Online: 2019-06-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2019-2033


Based on a survey of 6,989 individuals aged 60 and up from six countries (Austria, Denmark, Israel, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain), this study aimed at exploring the extent to which digital media practices complement and/or replace print media among older internet users. Results indicated a relative strength of print media among this audience and pointed to four differentiated sub-segments: hybrid readers—who comprised the majority of sample respondents—, heavy print readers, heavy online readers and non-readers. The segment type significantly associated with sociodemographic characteristics. The findings indicate that older readers are not a homogenous group and that their reading habits are affected by a complex configuration of factors: technological features of different media, specific individual psychosocial needs, unequal allocation of cultural capital among varied social groups that results in different levels and types of literacy, and—at least to some extent—idiosyncratic cultural and political conditions in each country.

Keywords: culture; digital media; old age; reading; technology


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About the article

Published Online: 2019-06-08

Citation Information: Communications, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2019-2033.

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