A Third Wave of Selective Exposure Research? The Challenges Posed by Hyperpartisan News on Social Media

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Commentary | Open Access

A Third Wave of Selective Exposure Research? The Challenges Posed by Hyperpartisan News on Social Media


  • Matthew Barnidge Department of Journalism & Creative Media, The University of Alabama, USA
  • Cynthia Peacock Department of Communication Studies, The University of Alabama, USA


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Abstract:  Hyperpartisan news on social media presents new challenges for selective exposure theory. These challenges are substantial enough to usher in a new era—a third wave—of selective exposure research. In this essay, we trace the history of the first two waves of research in order to better understand the current situation. We then assess the implications of recent developments for selective exposure research.

Keywords:  democracy; hyperpartisan news; political communication; populism; public sphere; selective exposure; social media

Published:   30 July 2019


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v7i3.2257


© Matthew Barnidge, Cynthia Peacock. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.