Does Exposure to Online Media Matter? The Knowledge Gap and the Mediating Role of News Use

Hai Tran


This study utilized a PEW media consumption survey to gauge specific links between socioeconomic status, online news use, traditional news use, and knowledge of public affairs. The analysis examined whether technological change could add to knowledge differences between social segments. A SEM procedure was conducted to test the assumptions of the knowledge-gap hypothesis. According to the findings, disparities exist between social classes in knowledge of public affairs. Socioeconomic standing strongly influences the choice that different segments of the population make in using traditional and online sources for information. Traditional news consumption mediates the gap-widening effect. Meanwhile, the findings indicated that online news use does not seem to contribute to political knowledge.

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