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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Category: International Communication Research Group

Rojas Publishes in Nature Human Behaviour on “Taming the Digital Information Tide”

Sebastián Valenzuela, Associate Professor in the School of Communications, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and Hernando Rojas, Helen Firstbrook Franklin Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison published their commentary piece, “Taming the Digital Information Tide to Promote Equality,” in the August 2019 issue of Nature Human Behaviour.  They argue that Interactive technologies are changing the ways we learn facts, develop attitudes and participate in politics, with the ensuing risk of increasing pre-existing inequalities. Addressing this challenge is the duty of researchers, technology companies, governments, and news organizations. They write, “political stratification is a structural problem with many causes. Solving it necessarily demands a structural approach. This is certainly more challenging to achieve than individual-level prescriptions. Nevertheless, social media challenges require social solutions. Researchers, technology companies, governments, and news organizations need to find ways to harness the power of citizens as distributors and producers of information in their responses. Adopting a structural approach to tackle the democratic threats of social media should bring us closer to having more egalitarian democracies.”  The piece can be found via this link

New Research on News Exposure, Second Screening from ICRG

On perception of income inequality, shows a negative relationship with news exposure in Colombia, but also a positive link between entertainment content and citizens’ understanding of income gaps. Moreover, findings suggest that more realistic perceptions of inequality, shaped by media exposure, are positively associated with redistributive policies and participation behaviors. Link.

 

On second screening, provides evidence of persistent digital divides in terms of ICT access, ICT use, and second screening for news. This study examines how socioeconomic status (SES) relates to the adoption of second screening practices and explores the consequences of divides for democratic engagement. Link.