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Partisan selective exposure in online news consumption: evidence from the 2016 presidential campaign

Erik Peterson, Sharad Goel and Shanto Iyengar

Political Science Research and Methods, 2021, vol. 9, issue 2, 242-258

Abstract: Where do partisans get their election news in the contemporary media environment? We track the online news consumption of a national sample during the 2016 presidential campaign. We find levels of partisan isolation in news exposure are two to three times greater than in prior studies, although the absolute level of isolation remains modest. The partisan divide for election-related news exceeds the divide for non-political news. This tendency of partisans to follow like-minded news providers occurs despite the relatively small differences in the partisan slant of the content offered by the majority of sources they visited. Finally, we find that partisans who gravitated to congenial news providers did not shift their evaluations of the presidential candidates during the campaign.

Date: 2021
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