alexa Media Dependency: Mass Media as Sources of Information in the Democratizing Countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

Author(s): Matthew Loveless

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The theory of media dependency states that for societies in states of crisis or instability, citizens are more reliant on mass media for information and as such are more susceptible to their effects. As there is little empirical evidence of how citizens use mass media in democratizing countries, this article demonstrates that individuals' media use is not only heightened during democratic transition but is also a function of a deliberate information-seeking strategy. Using surveys from six Central and Eastern European countries in 1996–1997, the article presents empirical evidence that citizens of new democracies purposively use the media for obtaining political information. This pattern of media use is especially pronounced in new democracies that have not proceeded very far in the process of democratic consolidation. These findings begin to fill the gap in our knowledge about the role of mass media in democratizing countries and chart clear directions for broadening our understanding of the process of political socialization in such countries.

This article was published in Democratization and referenced in Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

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