Incidental news exposure via social media has a detrimental effect on mainstream media and is helping its decline, a recent study found.
“(T)he more often social media users come across news incidentally, the less time they look for news from traditional and online media,” concluded the study conducted by Chang Sup Park , an assistant professor at the University of Albany SUNY and Barbara K. Kaye, a professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
They conducted a two-phase survey on 1,945 and 1,008 respondents respectively between Jan. 10 and Jan. 20, 2017. The respondents were adults who consume news over social media platforms.
Some personal characteristics such as education, income, political interest, internal political efficacy, and political talk of audiences play a positive role on their news consumption on social media, the study found.
The study concluded that audiences have a perception of “news-finds-me,” which is strengthened when they are exposed to news incidentally on a higher rate.
Chang Sup Park & Barbara K. Kaye (2020) What’s This? Incidental Exposure to News on Social Media, News-Finds-Me Perception, News Efficacy, and News Consumption, Mass Communication and Society, 23:2, 157-180, DOI: 10.1080/15205436.2019.1702216