Partisanship, Ideology, and Selective Exposure: A Longitudinal Analysis of Media Consumption in Spain (2008–2019)

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access | Ahead of Print | Last Modified: 27 February 2023

Partisanship, Ideology, and Selective Exposure: A Longitudinal Analysis of Media Consumption in Spain (2008–2019)

  • María Luisa Humanes Department of Journalism and Corporate Communication, Rey Juan Carlos University, Spain
  • Lidia Valera-Ordaz Department of Language Theory and Communication Sciences, University of Valencia, Spain

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Abstract:  The literature on selective exposure has shown that ideology and voting govern media consumption decisions, but longitudinal studies are still scarce. To fill this gap, this work analyzes: (a) whether selective exposure guided by ideology and partisanship to three media types (television, radio, and newspapers) is a stable phenomenon in Spain (2008–2019) as expected from a polarized pluralistic media system; and (b) which variable has the strongest effects on news choices (ideology or partisanship). Multinomial logistic regressions are carried out using data sources from six post-electoral surveys conducted by the Center for Sociological Research in the last six Spanish general elections (2008–2019). As dependent variables, we consider the four most important preferred media outlets for each media type, and as independent variables, we include the vote in general election and ideology. Moreover, interest in politics, gender, age, education, and social class are included as control variables, too. Findings show strong evidence that selective exposure based on ideology and partisanship is a well-established phenomenon in Spain for the three media types during the 11 years. Results also show that the effect of partisanship is always stronger than that of ideology for the three news media types. We conclude that selective exposure in Spain needs therefore to be conceived as partisan selective exposure.

Keywords:  audience; ideology; longitudinal analysis; media consumption; partisanship; political news; selective avoidance; selective exposure; Spain; survey

Published:   Ahead of Print

Issue:   Political Communication in Times of Spectacularisation: Digital Narratives, Engagement, and Politainment (Forthcoming)


© María Luisa Humanes, Lidia Valera-Ordaz. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.