Measuring partisan segregation in political media consumption


Despite the amount of research on the topic, there are few direct measurements of partisan segregation in media use. Instead, indirect evidence, like coefficients in multiple regression models, is typically used to indicate the presence or (more typically) absence of partisan segregation. The few methods that do approximate a direct measure require dichotomizing partisanship of people and sources, which is problematic in the United States and unworkable in many other democracies. I suggest using a method originally designed to measure residential segregation to quantify the amount of balkanization in media use at the country, party, and individual levels. To show the potential of the measure, I use data from a nationally representative survey to describe the amount of partisan segregation in media consumption in the United States.

May 27, 2021
71st Annual Conference of the International Communication Association
Toronto, ON
Jacob A. Long
Jacob A. Long
Assistant Professor of Mass Communications