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Exposure to News

Dagmar C. Unz


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In democratic societies “being informed” is regarded as part of the citizen's duty in order to form a political opinion and to participate in political life. The media, on the one hand, play a major role in the transmission of information about current events, and they are thought to be very influential. To fulfill its democratic responsibilities, the audience, on the other hand, is expected to consume news with a high level of attention in order to get detailed information, to learn as much as possible. Corresponding to these expectations, television is the principal source of information about current events for most people, and getting the news belongs to their daily routines. Research indicates that the acceptance of the civic duty to be informed is correlated with the frequency of news consumption ( Poindexter & McCombs 2001 ). Television is the most popular source of news, but half of the public uses multiple news sources (→  Television News ). On a typical day the average US American spends 66 minutes consuming news: 30 minutes watching television, 15 minutes listening to radio, another 15 minutes reading newspapers, and 6 minutes using the Internet for getting news ( Pew Research Center 2006 ). However, in the mid-2000s the percentage of US Americans who get news from any medium is lower than it was a decade ago (about 80 percent in 2004 and 90 percent in 1994; Pew ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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