Opinionet | “A Network Analysis of the online audience behavior” at ICA Conference in Puerto Rico
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“A Network Analysis of the online audience behavior” at ICA Conference in Puerto Rico

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We were at 65th International Communication Association (ICA) in Puerto Rico to present our ongoing study on online audience behaviour. The communication was accepted at this leading conference in the communication area, more precisely to be presented within the panel organized by Asociación de Comunicación Política (ACOP).


The preliminary study titled “A Network Analysis of the online audience behavior: Towards a better comprehension of the public agenda”, applies the network analysis approach to the study of the public agenda.


To this aim, we have constructed the network of audience overlapping among news media outlets in Spain to figure out the modes of exposure to political information. Our data comes from a representative panel of thirty thousand people. We have gathered information about how they navigate news media to reproduce the structure of their aggregated behavior and identify drivers of public attention.


The preliminary results presented at ICA by PhD candidate, Sílvia Majó-Vázquez and co-autored by professor Ana S. Cardenal show that despite the online public sphere is fragmented there are still hubs of public attention. The greatest levels of audience flow mainly remain located on traditional media outlets. This might guarantee that people still have necessary shared informational experiences for a deliberative democracy. Our research contributes to the debate of the unlimited fragmentation of the public sphere. It brings empirical evidence to prove that there are still levels of audience concentrations on those media outlets that play a key role in setting the public agenda. In doing so, we outline a novel theoretical framework based on network analysis for the study of the online public agenda.


We are currently enhancing our results to bring more evidences to the results presented at ICA congress and we will keep you updated with further results soon.