Opportunity structures for selective exposure: investigating selective exposure and learning in Swedish election campaigns using panel survey data

Morten Skovsgaard, Adam Shehata, Jesper Strömbäck

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The transition from low-choice to high-choice media environments has raised new concerns about selective exposure. In this context, two types of selective media exposure are relevant. One is selectivity based on political ideological preferences, the other selectivity based on political interest. Evidence for both has been found primarily in an American context, while there is less research on European countries. This is problematic, as the opportunity structures for different forms of selectivity vary across media environments. Against this background, the purpose of this study is to investigate the two types of selective exposure in a country—Sweden—where the opportunity structures for selective exposure differ from the American context. This study investigates both types of selective exposure in relation to televised party-leader interviews. Based on panel survey data, the findings show that selective exposure based on political interest is substantially more important than selective exposure based on ideological preferences in explaining exposure to party-leader interviews. To substantiate this finding, the results are replicated with partisan learning as the dependent variable.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe International Journal of Press/Politics
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)527-546
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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