COMPASS| Television Versus the Internet for Information Seeking: Lessons From Global Survey Research

Sonia Jawaid Shaikh


Using different kinds of media to seek information can affect the ways consumers engage in political participation. The expansion of Internet use across the world has given rise to the idea that television is nearing its end, and thus new participatory behaviors may be expected. However, there is no global perspective concerning such claims. This study tests such claims by analyzing actual media use around the globe for information seeking. Using data from Wave 6 of the World Values Survey (WVS) across 56 countries, this study finds that more people use television daily for information-seeking purposes compared to the Internet. This is also true for individuals who use the Internet daily; however, the reverse is not true―even for developed countries. Therefore, it appears that television still takes the lead across many countries when it comes to seeking information regarding everyday political life. This study also includes a commentary on the type and content of questions included in global surveys. Implications for research and policy are also discussed.


global media, surveys, Internet, television, information seeking

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