Despite the importance of news exposure to political outcomes, news consumption is notoriously difficult to measure, and misreporting news exposure is common. In this study, we compare participants’ news behaviors measured on a news aggregator website with their self-reported story selection immediately after exposure. We find that both individual and contextual characteristics—especially the presence of political cues in news headlines—influence reporting of news story selection. As a result, the news audience profiles differ using self-reported versus behavioral measures, creating two different pictures of news exposure. More attention is needed to improve news measurement strategies to address misreporting and to improve the accuracy of news audience profiles.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This research was supported by funding from the University of Iowa Internal Funding Initiatives from the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.
© The Author(s) 2018.
- news audiences
- news exposure
- self-report measures
- website analytics