This article seeks to contribute to theorizing the dynamics of incidental news consumption. Through an analysis of 200 semi-structured interviews with people in Argentina, Finland, Israel, Japan, and the United States, we show that intentionality in news consumption can be viewed on a continuum, which goes from deliberately setting apart time to access the news on specific outlets to skimming through unsought-for news on social and broadcast media, with intermediate practices such as respondents setting up an environment where they are more or less likely to encounter news. Drawing on structuration theory, this article conceptualizes incidental news in the context of the wider media environment and across multiple levels of analysis and explores how individual agency and social structure interact to shape information acquisition practices.
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Eugenia Mitchelstein, Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina
Pablo J Boczkowski, Northwestern University, USA
Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Kaori Hayashi, The University of Tokyo, Japan
Mikko Villi, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel