Influence of Public Service Media Consumption on Citizens’ Perceptions of the Need for Public Media: The Moderating Role of Political Ideology

Marcela Campos Rueda


Public service media (PSM) are under constant pressure to prove their public value and cultural impact. Ultimately, beyond theoretical arguments and regulatory actions, citizens’ perceptions and evaluations of PSM stand at the center of its legitimacy. Drawing on representative survey data from Spain (N = 1,717), this study examines the role of PSM consumption and ideology in predicting citizens’ attitudes toward the need for PSM. In line with previous literature, our results suggest a positive association between the consumption of PSM channels and citizens’ perceptions of its necessity. Regarding ideology, individuals who place themselves further to the left in the political spectrum tend to perceive a stronger need for PSM, particularly at lower consumption levels. Overall, findings highlight that consumption, reach, and appeal still matter and that ideology plays a critical role in energizing the perception of the need for PSM.


public service media, media consumption, political ideology, need for public media, media perceptions

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