The Impact of a Multichannel Environment on Television News Viewing: A Longitudinal Study of News Audience Polarization in South Korea

Su Jung Kim, James G. Webster


The abundant choices offered by digital media have raised concerns that news consumption might become polarized into people to either seek out or avoid the news. Despite growing evidence to that effect, there is no research that precisely measures exposure to news over a period of years. This study assesses TV news consumption by analyzing respondent-level “peoplemeter” data from 2001 to 2007, a period of rapid growth in Korean cable television. We found that polarization in news viewing was already established at an early stage of cable penetration and has changed little over the seven-year period. Political implications for the division between news junkies and avoiders are discussed.

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