Information and Entertainment in Mass Media Systems. The Organization and Use of Television and Newspapers in Cross-National Perspective
Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät der Universität zu Köln Forschungsinstitut für Soziologie Köln, Germany
As information and entertainment are the main axes of media gratification, their use should depend on the preference for information and for entertainment. In order to isolate the impact of both preferences, resources - such as leisure time - have to be controlled for. Informational and entertainment media use is analyzed as two choices: using newspapers rather than television, and using the political contents rather than other contents; the latter is considered for newspapers as well as for television. The main hypothesis are that the preference for information - measured by education, political interest and the value Universalism - has a positive, and the preference for entertainment - measured by the value Hedonism - has a negative effect on the informational media use, controlling for resources. These hypotheses are tested in 69 samples over 29 countries of the European social survey 2002, 2004, and 2006. To compare countries, variables measuring the public control of media systems are introduced. The following macro hypotheses are examined: Public control - measured by the types of media systems of Hallin / Mancini (2004) and by the audience share of public broadcasters - increases the informational media use; and it increases the positive effect of the preference for information on the informational media use and decreases the negative effect of the preference for entertainment on the informational media use, controlling for the media supply and the wealth of countries.
Two methodological problems will be discussed: (1) constructing indicators for media systems and (2) analyzing samples of the same country over time points, thereby creating dependency among samples in multi-level analyses.