Beneath the Veneer of Fragmentation: Television Audience Polarization in a Multichannel World

  title={Beneath the Veneer of Fragmentation: Television Audience Polarization in a Multichannel World},
  author={James G. Webster},
  journal={Journal of Communication},
  • J. G. Webster
  • Published 1 June 2005
  • Political Science
  • Journal of Communication
This study reviews the history of television audience fragmentation in the United States and uses a secondary analysis of Nielsen peoplemeter data to assess the current state of both fragmentation and audience polarization across 62 of the most prominent television networks. Audience fragmentation is more advanced than is generally recognized. Polarization, the tendency of channel audiences to be composed of devotees and nonviewers, is also evident, though modest. Contrary to the “law of double… 

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