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AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH TO MEDIA DISPLACEMENT STUDY: SELECTIVE DISPLACEMENT BASED ON THE NEWS CONTENT
Unformatted Document Text:  Media Displacement 5 complementary relationship between CMC and newspaper, computer users are also more likely to report lower daily use of the broadcast media such as television and radio as is expected in media displacement theory (Robinson et al., 1997). However, “these relations either were insignificant or could be explained by their common relation with social class and other background factors rather than by any intrusion from new information technologies” (Robinson et al., 1997, p.80). Showing that greater decreases in television usage across time among lighter users and nonowners of computers, Robinson and associates (1997) suggest that the media displacement theory is insufficient to explain the influence of the Internet on the older media. The Internet can be comparable to household appliances regarding its complementary relationship to newspaper (Robinson et al., 1997). Just as they used automobiles and household appliances such as laundry machine and dishwashers, people can simultaneously read a newspaper and use a computer. In this way, the computer may play the role of “activity (media) enhancement” rather than displacement (Robinson et al., 1997, p. 80). On the other hand, there were studies that found no evidence of either symmetrical (displacement) or complementary relationship between the “new” and the existing media. Lazarsfeld’s (1940) study, for instance, did not support the expectation that radio would reduce the amount of time spent in newspaper reading. Nor did Robinson and associates (1997) find any evidence of CMC displacing time spent with radio or television. Media System Dependency & Functional displacement The Media System Dependency (MSD) theory may provide a framework to explain the mixed findings regarding media displacement. The MSD theory holds that the effects of media will be most evident when media content provides individuals with unique information that is

Authors: Jeong, Irkwon. and Li, Zhan.
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Media Displacement
5
complementary relationship between CMC and newspaper, computer users are also more likely
to report lower daily use of the broadcast media such as television and radio as is expected in
media displacement theory (Robinson et al., 1997). However, “these relations either were
insignificant or could be explained by their common relation with social class and other
background factors rather than by any intrusion from new information technologies” (Robinson
et al., 1997, p.80). Showing that greater decreases in television usage across time among lighter
users and nonowners of computers, Robinson and associates (1997) suggest that the media
displacement theory is insufficient to explain the influence of the Internet on the older media.
The Internet can be comparable to household appliances regarding its complementary
relationship to newspaper (Robinson et al., 1997). Just as they used automobiles and household
appliances such as laundry machine and dishwashers, people can simultaneously read a
newspaper and use a computer. In this way, the computer may play the role of “activity (media)
enhancement” rather than displacement (Robinson et al., 1997, p. 80).
On the other hand, there were studies that found no evidence of either symmetrical
(displacement) or complementary relationship between the “new” and the existing media.
Lazarsfeld’s (1940) study, for instance, did not support the expectation that radio would reduce
the amount of time spent in newspaper reading. Nor did Robinson and associates (1997) find
any evidence of CMC displacing time spent with radio or television.
Media System Dependency & Functional displacement
The Media System Dependency (MSD) theory may provide a framework to explain the
mixed findings regarding media displacement. The MSD theory holds that the effects of media
will be most evident when media content provides individuals with unique information that is


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