Being Inside or Outside the Virtuous Circle: How News Media Repertoires Relate to Political Participation Repertoires

Sabine Geers, Rens Vliegenthart


To understand how youth act in the current media landscape and the growing opportunity structure for political participation, a more comprehensive approach in measuring news consumption and political participation is warranted. This study (1) examines the different types of political participation among youth based on engagement in various participatory activities, (2) examines how these different political participation repertoires are related to news media repertoires, and (3) explores the role of political knowledge, political efficacy, and personal background characteristics. Results from a survey of Dutch adolescents (N = 1,084; age 16–21 years) reveal four distinct repertoires of political participation, each largely overlapping with a similar news media repertoire. Findings suggest that youth are either inside the virtuous circle, with high levels of news consumption and political participation, or outside the virtuous circle, avoiding both news consumption and participatory activities. In the discussion we reflect on the importance of local news and community-based activities to draw youth into the virtuous circle.


political participation, news consumption, survey, youth, Netherlands

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