Cognitive, affective, or no engagement? How young adults in Austria deal with media coverage on the EU

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Abstract

Drawing on qualitative data from a mixed-method study, this paper analyses 30 cases to find out, how and why young adults in Austria engage in media coverage on the EU. The analyses shows that young people react quite differently to media reports on this topic. While some pay attention, actively search for information and intensively deal with EU content (cognitive engagement), others do not follow European affairs but react emotional when they come across it (affective engagement). The third group is characterised by a very low overall level of engagement. Both, intensity and form of engagement depend on young people's satisfaction with EU media coverage, their general relation to information media, politics and the EU and their willingness to make efforts. Finally, the data suggest that political cynicism does not necessarily lead to disengagement, but rather to a more emotional and less constructive form of engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-73
Number of pages19
JournalSocialni Studia/Social Studies
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Audience engagement
  • EU
  • European Union
  • Media
  • Media engagement
  • Political engagement
  • Young people

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