Measuring Media Diet in a High-Choice Environment: Testing the List-Frequency Technique

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How to measure exposure to information in the media is highly disputed, primarily due to the difficulties of obtaining accurate self-reports. The growing supply of outlets and proliferation of information sources have added an additional level of complexity to these problems. Reflecting on old and new approaches for measuring exposure to political information, it is argued that both the specific source and the frequency of exposure must be taken into account. The validity of this so-called “list-frequency technique” is tested using a two-wave panel survey as well as a split sample experiment from the survey pre-test to enable comparison with the “list technique.” The results support the list-frequency technique in being a good solution, since it provides the same aggregate estimates of media use as the already validated list technique, and may give more detailed effect estimates and increase the explained variance when predicting political knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunication Methods and Measures
Issue number2-3
Pages (from-to)81-98
Publication statusPublished - 2. Apr 2016


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