How Many People Live in Politically Partisan Online News Echo Chambers in Different Countries?

Authors

  • Richard Fletcher University of Oxford
  • Craig T. Robertson University of Oxford
  • Rasmus Kleis Nielsen University of Oxford

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.51685/jqd.2021.020

Keywords:

echo chambers, selective exposure, algorithmic selection, news audiences, polarization

Abstract

Concern over online news echo chambers has been a consistent theme in recent debates on how people get news and information. Yet, we lack a basic descriptive understanding of how many people occupy bounded online news spaces in different countries. Using online survey data from seven countries we find that (i) politically partisan left-right online news echo chambers are real, but only a minority of approximately 5% of internet news users inhabit them, (ii) in every country covered, more people consume no online news at all than occupy partisan online echo chambers, and (iii) except for the US, decisions over the inclusion or exclusion of particular news outlets make little difference to echo chamber estimates. Differences within and between media systems mean we should be very cautious about direct comparisons between different echo chambers, but underlying patterns of audience overlap, and the continued popularity of mainstream outlets, often preclude the formation of large partisan echo chambers.

Downloads

Published

2021-08-04

How to Cite

Fletcher, R., Robertson, C. T., & Nielsen, R. K. (2021). How Many People Live in Politically Partisan Online News Echo Chambers in Different Countries?. Journal of Quantitative Description: Digital Media , 1. https://doi.org/10.51685/jqd.2021.020

Issue

Section

Articles