The contemporary mediascape offers a plethora of news media and social media, which people can turn to in everyday life and during a crisis. The characteristics of media vary, providing different logics and affordances, and occupying different niches in time and space (medium-centric (MC) approach). Generations develop routinized media usage patterns in the formative phases of their lives, which they often maintain in their daily habits in everyday life (generation-centric (GC) approach). Crisis events in the vicinity, such as gas emissions, terrorist attacks, pandemics and earthquakes, presumably ignite an augmented interest for information and news on the events that may cause a destabilization of established media usage routines. This article aims to conceptualize, describe and explain how four generations envision their media use during such crises. The article posits the MC/GC-model, a 2x2 matrix encompassing a medium-centric vis-á-vis a generation-centric approach, from which two hypotheses are derived. Statistical analysis of nationally representative survey data provides evidence that all generations, and both daily and more seldom users of different media, envision themselves turning to these during a crisis. Their envisioned broadening of media use, predominantly involving commanding attention to immediate news media reporting, results in a cross-generational homogenization of media use.
Journalism Studies, 2014, Vol 16, Issue 2, p. 133-151
Complementary Effects; Crisis Communication; Cross-media Use; Digital Journalism; Displacing Effects; MC/GC Model; News; Sociology of Media Generations