With social media at the forefront of today’s media context, citizens may perceive they don’t need to actively seek news because they will be exposed to news and remain well-informed through their peers and social networks. We label this the “news-finds-me perception,” and test its implications for news seeking and political knowledge: “news-finds-me effects.” U.S. panel-survey data show that individuals who perceive news will find them are less likely to use traditional news sources and are less knowledgeable about politics over time. Although the news-finds-me perception is positively associated with news exposure on social media, this behavior doesn’t facilitate political learning. These results suggest news continues to enhance political knowledge best when actively sought.
Source: Effects of the News-Finds-Me Perception in Communication: Social Media Use Implications for News Seeking and Learning About Politics – Gil de Zúñiga – 2017 – Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication – Wiley Online Library