Niche News: The Politics of News Choice

Synopsis

Fox News, MSNBC,The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,The Rush Limbaugh Show, National Public Radio--with so many options, where do people turn for news? In Niche News, Natalie Stroud investigates how people navigate these choices and the political implications that their choice ultimately entails. By combining an analysis of the various news formats that citizens rely on with innovative surveys and experiments, she offers the most comprehensive look to date at the extent to which partisanship influences our media selections. At the heart of Niche News is the concept of "partisan selective exposure," a behavior that leads individuals to select news sources that match their own views. This phenomenon helps explain the political forces at work behind media consumption. Just as importantly, she finds that selective exposure also influences how average citizens engage with politics in general. On one hand, citizens may become increasingly divided as a result of using media that coheres with their political beliefs; on the other hand, partisan selective exposure may encourage participation. Ultimately, Stroud reveals just how intimately connected the mainstream media and the world of politics really are, a conclusion with significant implications for the practice of American democracy.