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What Do Newsjunkies Consume and What Do They Know? Two Studies on Intrinsic Need For Orientation, News Diets, and Political Knowledge

Version 2 2023-10-26, 11:18
Version 1 2023-07-13, 12:09
journal contribution
revised on 2023-10-26, 11:17 and posted on 2023-10-26, 11:18 authored by Justin D Martin, Krishna Sharma

Recent research on the newsjunkie trait-intrinsic need for orientation (INFO)-has not yet examined specific kinds of information newsjunkies consume or whether the newsjunkie characteristic predicts outcomes like political knowledge. Study 1 surveyed U.S. adults' (N=2,059) INFO, hard news consumption, soft news consumption, use of partisan outlets FOX News and MSNBC, and use of less-partisan outlets like BBC and NBC. The newsjunkie trait was one of the strongest predictors of hard news consumption (like news about foreign affairs and the economy), after controlling for numerous factors, and it did not predict soft news consumption (news about entertainment, sports etc.). The newsjunkie trait was positively associated with use of both partisan and less-partisan outlets. Study 2 examined U.S. adults'(N=1,054) INFO and political knowledge, while holding constant most of the variables controlled for in Study 1. Despite some evidence from Study 1 that newsjunkies are sophisticated news consumers, INFO did not positively predict political knowledge; the strongest positive predictor of political knowledge was consuming political news, and the only other significant news use correlate was use of FOX News, which was negatively associated with political knowledge. Implications for research on the intrinsic need for orientation, news use, and political outcomes are discussed.

Other information

Published in: International Journal of Public Opinion Research
See article on publisher's website:



  • English


Oxford University Press

Publication Year

  • 2023

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Doha Institute for Graduate Studies
  • School of Social Sciences and Humanities - DI
  • Northwestern University in Qatar
  • The Institute for Advanced Study in the Global South - NU-Q