Media Preferences and Democracy: Refining the “Relative Entertainment Preference” Hypothesis
This article extends the work of research connecting media choice and relative preferences for entertainment to voter turnout. Markus Prior found that individuals who both preferred entertaining content to news and had either cable or Internet access were less likely to vote than were other citizens. As an update to his work, this article uses more recent Pew Research Center for the People and the Press surveys to test alternative measures of entertainment preferences and to update the Internet access findings for the broadband age. As a theoretical extension, this article looks at turnout differences among those with even finer content preferences. Specifically, people who prefer hard news are compared to those choosing societal welfare news (e.g., crime, community, health). The results indicate that there is value in considering Relative Societal Welfare News Preference in addition to?or even instead of?entertainment preferences alone.