- Soft news with hard consequences? Introducing a nuanced measure of soft versus hard news exposure and its relationship with political cynicism
- Communication Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 42 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
The possibly detrimental consequences of soft news are subject of popular and academic debate. This study investigates how watching particular news genres—soft versus hard—relates to cynicism about politics among Dutch citizens. A nuanced and novel scale measuring relative exposure to soft versus hard news is introduced using nonparametric unidimensional unfolding. The analysis of three public opinion surveys demonstrates a strong relationship between people’s position on this hard versus soft news exposure scale and political cynicism. People who watched relatively more soft news were more cynical about politics than people who watched relatively more hard news. This relationship was not conditional on individuals’ level of political knowledge and interest.
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