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Title: Media Diet and Polarisation: Evidence from Spain
Author: Padró-Solanet, Abert  
Balcells, Joan  
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Estudis de Dret i Ciència Política
Citation: Padró-Solanet, A. [Albert] & Balcells Padullés, J. [Joan] (2022). Media Diet and Polarisation: Evidence from Spain. South European Society and Politics. doi: 10.1080/13608746.2022.2046400
Abstract: Does media diet diversity influence affective polarisation of the public? To test this hypothesis we analyse data from Spain, which like other South European countries has a highly politicised media system. The study operationalises media diet diversity based on survey and web-tracking data. It considers diversity both in terms of the quantity of media consumed and exposure to opposing viewpoints using the two politico-ideological dimensions that conventionally define Spanish politics: left–right and centre–periphery. The results are rather complex and show certain ambivalence. As expected, a more diverse media diet generally tends to depolarise individuals; however, when considering the centre-periphery dimension, we find that media diet diversity can further exacerbate polarisation. That highlights the role identities can play as a potential source of polarisation.
Keywords: affective polarisation
ideological extremism
selective exposure
cross-cutting exposure
digital media
media systems
web-tracking data
Type: info:eu-repo/semantics/article
Issue Date: 21-Mar-2022
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