How Newspaper Readership Affects Political Participation by ProQuest


Newspaper readership has been decreasing, especially among younger American readers, who are already least likely to read newspapers.11 Researchers have discovered similar trends in Europe.12 The decline in newspaper readership is not equal across all social groups; young people and people with moderate education levels seem to have reduced their newspaper reading the most.13 Race and socioeconomic status (SES) play a role in adolescents' newspaper use.14 However, age remains the best predictor of the decline.15 Because young consumers perceive newspaper reading as requiring too much time and effort, and because they have a weaker ability to cope with information, they tend to spend less time reading newspapers.16 This study, therefore, focuses on the declining newspaper readership among young Americans.

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									 - Newspaper Research Journal • Vol. 29, No. 3 • Summer 2008

How Newspaper Readership
Affects Political Participation
by Tien-Tsung Lee and Lu Wei

    This analysis reveals that a decrease in newspaper
    readership among 17- to 24- year olds is associated
    with their decreasing political participation but
    not with a decrease in their political knowledge.

    N     ewspaper readership in the United States has been declining since
the 1960s. At the same time, Americans’ political participation, ranging from
signing petitions and attending rallies to voting, also has been decreasing.1
Young Americans’ political involvement has declined the most precipitously.2
Moreover, young Americans are the very segment of the populatio
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