Soft News With Hard Consequences? Introducing a Nuanced Measure of Soft Versus Hard News Exposure and Its Relationship With Political Cynicism

Mark Boukes, Hajo G. Boomgaarden
  • Communication Research, June 2014, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1177/0093650214537520

What is it about?

The possibly detrimental consequences of soft news are subject of popular and academic debate. This study investigates how watching particular news genres—soft versus hard—relates to cynicism about politics among Dutch citizens. A nuanced and novel scale measuring relative exposure to soft versus hard news is introduced using nonparametric unidimensional unfolding. The analysis of three public opinion surveys demonstrates a strong relationship between people’s position on this hard versus soft news exposure scale and political cynicism. People who watched relatively more soft news were more cynical about politics than people who watched relatively more hard news. This relationship was not conditional on individuals’ level of political knowledge and interest.

Why is it important?

Helps scholars to think about the genres of hard and soft news, but also shows how it affects political cynicism, and important variable in the literature


Dr Mark Boukes
Universiteit van Amsterdam

It pushes forward the debate on dualistic conceptualizations of hard versus soft news, and the effects it may have.

Read Publication

The following have contributed to this page: Dr Mark Boukes

In partnership with: