Is the Internet Homogenizing or Diversifying the News? External Pluralism in the U.S., Danish, and French Press

Matthew Powers, Rodney Benson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study examines whether news is more or less homogeneous online than in print across agenda-setting news outlets in the United States, Denmark, and France. Examining similarities and differences in the genres, topics, and authors of news in each country's leading newspapers, it finds little evidence of greater online homogeneity in any country. U.S. news outlets are more differentiated online than in print, while French news outlets have similar levels of print and online differentiation. Online data for Denmark reveal no consistent pattern in the direction of either homogeneity or differentiation. These findings suggest that the differentiating effects of the online environment are strongest in countries (e.g., the United States) where media markets are being restructured to include more direct competition between agenda-setting news outlets at the national level. By contrast, countries (e.g., France and, to a lesser degree, Denmark) with high levels of print differentiation have similarly high levels online due to the path-dependent effects of their national media systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-265
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Press/Politics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014



  • Internet
  • comparative research
  • journalism
  • press systems
  • public sphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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