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The European Journal of Communication Research

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

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Volume 44, Issue 2


Fragmentation in high-choice media environments from a micro-perspective: Effects of selective exposure on issue diversity in individual repertoires

Pablo Porten-Cheé / Christiane Eilders
Published Online: 2019-06-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2018-2013


Online communication is often seen to promote audience fragmentation because it facilitates selective exposure and therefore is likely to divide audiences into sub-publics that hardly share common issues with other sub-publics. This study takes a micro-perspective on fragmentation by focusing on issue diversity in media items users have encountered in a particular week. Diversity was assessed via content analyses based on online diaries of 645 participants who recorded their media use concerning the German debates on climate change and federal elections. Findings show lower degrees of diversity for users of non-journalistic online media than for users of journalistic mass media.

Keywords: fragmentation; selective exposure; issue diversity; media repertoires

Funding: This work was supported by the German Research Foundation [research unit “Political Communication in the Online World”, subproject 2, grant number 1381].


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About the article

Published Online: 2019-06-08

Published in Print: 2019-06-07

Citation Information: Communications, Volume 44, Issue 2, Pages 139–161, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2018-2013.

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