News Won’t Find Me? Exploring Inequalities in Social Media News Use With Tracking Data

Merten, Lisa; Metoui, Nadia; Makhortykh, Mykola; Trilling, Damian; Moeller, Judith (2022). News Won’t Find Me? Exploring Inequalities in Social Media News Use With Tracking Data. International journal of communication, 16, pp. 1127-1147. USC Annenberg

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The rise of news content on social media has been accompanied by a hope that people with lower socioeconomic status and less interest in political affairs would be “accidentally” exposed to news. By combining tracking and survey data from a Dutch online panel (N = 413), we analyze how political interest, income, and education influence social media news exposure and consumption. Higher levels of political interest are associated with higher amounts of news exposure on Facebook and more news items consumed via social media. Users engage less often in news-related follow-up behavior after consuming news items via social media than after consuming news items referred via news websites. If social media news use seems to occur particularly for those who are already interested in current affairs and makes follow-up consumption less likely, the specificities of the social media ecosystems might accelerate rather than level inequalities in news use.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Communication and Media Studies (ICMB)

UniBE Contributor:

Makhortykh, Mykola


000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 070 News media, journalism & publishing
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




USC Annenberg




Mykola Makhortykh

Date Deposited:

05 May 2022 12:13

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 16:18

Uncontrolled Keywords:

news consumption, online tracking, news exposure, social media, inequalities




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