Studying incidental news: Antecedents, dynamics and implications

Neta Kligler-Vilenchik*, Alfred Hermida, Sebastián Valenzuela, Mikko Villi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In light of concerns about decreasing news use, a decline in interest in political news or even active avoidance or resistance of news in general, the idea of ‘incidental news’ has been seen as a possible remedy. Generally, ‘incidental news’ refers to the ways in which people encounter information about current events through media when they were not actively seeking the news. However, scholars studying incidental news through different theoretical and methodological perspectives have been arriving at differing evaluations of the significance and implications of this phenomenon – to the extent of downright contradictory findings. This introductory piece posits the aim of this special issue on Studying Incidental News: a conceptual clarification of incidental news exposure. In this issue, scholars coming from different approaches, ranging from cognitive processing, ecological models, emergent practices and a focus on platform affordances, show how different theoretical perspectives help account for various dimensions of incidental news consumption, and thus help explain the often conflicting findings that have been suggested so far.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1025-1030
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • Conceptual clarification
  • incidental exposure
  • incidental news
  • journalism studies
  • news use
  • social media


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