NEWS MEDIA CONSUMPTION AMONG IDEOLOGICALLY LEANING GROUPS
Examining the use of alternative media- and mainstream media.
Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how ideologically leaning groups reason, value and perceive their news consumption.
Theory: The theoretical framework that underpins the analysis of this thesis consist of the public sphere theory, the conceptualization of trust and hostile media effects, and finally the uses and gratifications theory.
Method: The methodological approach of this thesis is qualitative and uses focus groups consisting of three ideologically leaning groups: left-wing, liberal and right-wing.
Result:Ideologically leaning groups use mainstream media as a base of information to build on their world view. Although the participants direct a great deal of distrust toward the mainstream media, they still turn to them because their need for information is large enough for them to compromise with the trustworthiness. The next conclusion is that ideologically leaning groups use media sources such as social networking sites, blogs, forums and alternative media websites to both gather information, and to uphold social relationships. Those two phenomenons seem to converge into each other.