Selective exposure during uprisings: A comparative study of news uses in Chile, Hong Kong, Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon

Jad Melki, Claudia Kozman, Claudia Mellado, Claudio Elórtegui, Clement Y.K. So, Mostafa Movahedian, Sahar Khalifa Salim, Sally Farhat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In periods of political unrest, media habits change significantly, allowing for new patterns of selectivity. This study's main contribution lies in its application of selective exposure theory and its comparison of people's media uses in five Global South polities that witnessed widespread protests in 2019: Chile, Hong Kong, Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon. It examines the relationship between people's trust in the media and selective exposure at a global comparative level and within the contexts of political upheavals and hyperconnected media systems. The study also assesses the relationship between issue publics and participation in protests. Using cross-sectional surveys in each of the five countries/regions, it compares participants’ support for the protests and their exposure to legacy and social media. The findings reveal that media trust and issue publics play a significant role in determining the level of preference for pro-attitudinal news content. Trusting pro-attitudinal TV channels relates to following pro-attitudinal TV channels, and trusting counter-attitudinal TV channels relates to following counter-attitudinal TV channels. In addition, the strong issue publics group was more likely than the weak and moderate issue publics groups to participate in street protests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-559
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Communication Gazette
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2023


  • Selective exposure
  • issue publics
  • media and protests
  • news consumption
  • political unrest
  • social media


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