“News comes across when I’m in a moment of leisure”: Understanding the practices of incidental news consumption on social media

Pablo J. Boczkowski*, Eugenia Mitchelstein, Mora Matassi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Scopus citations

Abstract

Incidental consumption of news on social media has risen in recent years, particularly among young people. Previous studies have characterized what the main dimensions and effects of this phenomenon are. In this article, we complement that literature by looking at how this phenomenon unfolds. Inspired by practice theory, we aim to answer two questions: (1) what are the practices that subtend incidental news consumption on social media among young people? and (2) What are the social consequences of these practices? We draw upon 50 in-depth interviews with respondents aged 18–29 years from Argentina. Our findings show the existence of (1) strong connections between technology and content, “anywhere and anytime” coordinates, derivative information routines, and increasingly mediated sociability and (2) fragmentary reading patterns, loss of hierarchy of the news, and coexistence of editorial, algorithmic, and social filtering. We conclude by elaborating on the empirical and theoretical implications of these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3523-3539
Number of pages17
JournalNew Media and Society
Volume20
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

Keywords

  • Digital news
  • Latin America
  • incidental news
  • journalism
  • news consumption
  • practice theory
  • qualitative research
  • social media
  • youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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