Media Use and Its Effects in a Cross-National Perspective

Hajo G. Boomgaarden, Hyunjin Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This contribution provides a critical reflection on the state-of-the-art of cross-national media use and media effect studies. Increasing availability of data sources, advances in theorizing and facilitation of international research collaboration have contributed to an increasing application of cross-national perspectives in communication research. Contingencies of media use and media effects brought about by national media systems or sociopolitical and cultural contexts of media use have become a central tenet of such research. The paper starts out by discussing the need for cross-national comparative perspectives in communication research. It then goes on to review the generally problematic nature of “media use” measurement, in particular in a comparative perspective, followed by an introduction to media systems and information environments as among the central macrolevel concepts in media use and media effect studies. In its core, the contribution reviews multilevel studies examining media use and the impact had by media, most of which stem from the realm of news use and its effects in politics. The article then discusses whether and to what degree these cross-national studies have contributed to further theory building. It concludes by discussing and providing an outlook for the future of comparative communication research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)545-571
Number of pages27
JournalKolner Zeitschrift fur Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jun 3

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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