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Retesting the Marketplace Theory of Media Use
Unformatted Document Text:  Retesting the Marketplace Theory of Media Use—1 Retesting the Marketplace Theory of Media Use Determining who uses the news media and why has been a common theme in mass communication research over the past 50 years. Some scholars have posited that news use is related to people’s perceptions of whether a news outlet or news medium is credible, trustworthy or fair (e.g., Carter & Greenberg, 1965; Greenberg, 1966; Shaw, 1973, 1985; Westley & Severin, 1964). Specifically, perceived credibility of a news medium has been shown to predict use of the medium (e.g., Carter & Greenberg, 1965; Rimmer & Weaver, 1987). Others have linked news use to perceptions of bias and reliability (Lind, 1993, 1995). In the latter study, Lind found that people’s news use was positively associated with their perceptions of news realism but negatively with perceptions of news sensationalism. In one final line of research, news use has been tied to societal and media-norm perceptions (e.g., Ball-Rokeach, 1985; Loges & Ball-Rokeach, 1993;). For example, McLeod, Sotirovic and Holbert (1998) demonstrated that societal and institutional judgments predict mass and interpersonal communication patterns. In a more recent study, Beaudoin and Thorson (2002) merged these disparate streams of research in an attempt to articulate and test “a comprehensive framework for understanding media use, one that is relevant in today’s multimedia and multiethnic America” (p. 243). In what the authors call “a Marketplace Theory of Media Use,” research in mass communication and marketing is joined to articulate a model for predicting media use that involves important measures of news credibility, media norms, and individual differences. The authors contend that, as news and news media become more abundant (e.g., Becker & Schoenbach, 1989; Iosifides, 1999; Krantz, 1994; Napoli, 1999; Ogan, 1985), they can be considered and tested in terms of product and brand choice. Thus, consumer decisions to use or purchase the news of one media outlet instead of another share much in common with consumer decisions to buy a Coke instead of Pepsi. In a media sense, the products could be TV news or newspapers, with the brands being NBC and ABC or the New York Times or New York Post.

Authors: Beaudoin, Christopher. and Thorson, Esther.
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Retesting the Marketplace Theory of Media Use—1
Retesting the Marketplace Theory of Media Use
Determining who uses the news media and why has been a common theme in mass
communication research over the past 50 years. Some scholars have posited that news use is
related to people’s perceptions of whether a news outlet or news medium is credible, trustworthy
or fair (e.g., Carter & Greenberg, 1965; Greenberg, 1966; Shaw, 1973, 1985; Westley & Severin,
1964). Specifically, perceived credibility of a news medium has been shown to predict use of the
medium (e.g., Carter & Greenberg, 1965; Rimmer & Weaver, 1987). Others have linked news use
to perceptions of bias and reliability (Lind, 1993, 1995). In the latter study, Lind found that
people’s news use was positively associated with their perceptions of news realism but negatively
with perceptions of news sensationalism. In one final line of research, news use has been tied to
societal and media-norm perceptions (e.g., Ball-Rokeach, 1985; Loges & Ball-Rokeach, 1993;).
For example, McLeod, Sotirovic and Holbert (1998) demonstrated that societal and institutional
judgments predict mass and interpersonal communication patterns.
In a more recent study, Beaudoin and Thorson (2002) merged these disparate streams of
research in an attempt to articulate and test “a comprehensive framework for understanding media
use, one that is relevant in today’s multimedia and multiethnic America” (p. 243). In what the
authors call “a Marketplace Theory of Media Use,” research in mass communication and
marketing is joined to articulate a model for predicting media use that involves important
measures of news credibility, media norms, and individual differences. The authors contend that,
as news and news media become more abundant (e.g., Becker & Schoenbach, 1989; Iosifides,
1999; Krantz, 1994; Napoli, 1999; Ogan, 1985), they can be considered and tested in terms of
product and brand choice. Thus, consumer decisions to use or purchase the news of one media
outlet instead of another share much in common with consumer decisions to buy a Coke instead
of Pepsi. In a media sense, the products could be TV news or newspapers, with the brands being
NBC and ABC or the New York Times or New York Post.


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