Traditional newspapers have been shown to improve knowledge about politics and other societal issues and to widen the perceived public agenda, but what of their online counterparts and other news sites on the Internet? The consequences of differences in presentation style are addressed. A large survey representative of the Dutch adult population is used to examine how much print newspapers and online news expand the perceived public agenda, both in terms of its extent in general and within politics in particular. Our results show that printed newspapers are more effective than online newspapers in increasing the overall number of perceived topics and the number of political topics, but only if readers are interested and rely on newspapers. Nonpaper news sites, however, seem to widen the overall and the political public agenda even without specific interest and reliance of their users.
ASJC Scopus subject areas