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Use of print & online news media for local news: A uses & dependency perspective
Unformatted Document Text:  Print & Online News Media members, social-structural forces, mass media system, functional alternative use, use of mass media, and consequences of media effects (p. 188). Ball-Rokeach and DeFleur (1976) defined dependency as “a relationship in which the satisfaction of needs or the attainment of goals by one party is contingent upon the resources of another party” (p. 6). Rubin and Windah (1986) posited that “dependency may result when an individual instrumentally seeks out certain communication messages or ritualistically uses communication channels” (p. 187). This line of thinking suggests that dependency may evolve as a function of instrumental use of media (e.g., selecting, consuming, processing, interpreting media content). For example, if readers find newspapers to be instrumental in their gratifications-seeking, they will become more dependent on the mass medium to gratify their needs or motives. Similarly, if audience members find the Internet and handheld media to be influential in meeting their needs, they will use the new media as a source of needs-gratification. Therefore, dependency could play an important role in determining what and how news media outlets are chosen by audience members. The uses and dependency model emphasizes the role of the social and psychological origins of individual needs and motives as well as that of dependency to understand the relationship between audience and media (Rubin & Windahl, 1986). Previous research has shown that individuals with higher needs for active lifestyles would have greater exposure to media sources of public affairs information than those with lower needs for active lifestyles (Donohew, Palmgree, & Rayburn, 1987). Rayburn (1996) concluded that many uses of the media do appear to have their origins in societal structure and social process. From the perspective of uses and gratifications, citizens with stronger information and surveillance motives for local news media were 9

Authors: Fleming, Kenneth.
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Print & Online News Media
members, social-structural forces, mass media system, functional alternative use, use of 
mass media, and consequences of media effects (p. 188).
Ball-Rokeach and DeFleur (1976) defined dependency as “a relationship in which 
the satisfaction of needs or the attainment of goals by one party is contingent upon the 
resources of another party” (p. 6). Rubin and Windah (1986) posited that “dependency 
may result when an individual instrumentally seeks out certain communication messages 
or ritualistically uses communication channels” (p. 187). This line of thinking suggests 
that dependency may evolve as a function of instrumental use of media (e.g., selecting, 
consuming, processing, interpreting media content). For example, if readers find 
newspapers to be instrumental in their gratifications-seeking, they will become more 
dependent on the mass medium to gratify their needs or motives. Similarly, if audience 
members find the Internet and handheld media to be influential in meeting their needs, 
they will use the new media as a source of needs-gratification. Therefore, dependency 
could play an important role in determining what and how news media outlets are chosen 
by audience members. The uses and dependency model emphasizes the role of the social 
and psychological origins of individual needs and motives as well as that of dependency 
to understand the relationship between audience and media (Rubin & Windahl, 1986).
Previous research has shown that individuals with higher needs for active 
lifestyles would have greater exposure to media sources of public affairs information than 
those with lower needs for active lifestyles (Donohew, Palmgree, & Rayburn, 1987). 
Rayburn (1996) concluded that many uses of the media do appear to have their origins in 
societal structure and social process. From the perspective of uses and gratifications, 
citizens with stronger information and surveillance motives for local news media were 
9


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