Sandra González-Bailón is an Associate Professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and affiliated faculty at the Warren Center for Network and Data Sciences. She obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Oxford. Her applied research focuses on the analysis of social media, mobilization dynamics, information diffusion, and news consumption. She is the author of the book Decoding the Social World (MIT Press, 2017) and co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Networked Communication (OUP, forthcoming).

Talk: “Digital News and the Consumption of Information Online”

Abstract: Online platforms are becoming the main source of news for the majority of the population, getting very close (or even surpassing) television. This trend is part of a longer shift that has taken us from the broadcasting era, where most people were exposed to the same sources of news (limited in number) to a more complex era of “networked” communication where there are many more sources available and it is easier to choose and self-select. This transition has triggered many theories about what technology-driven change means for politics and the democratic process. However, there is remarkably little empirical evidence about the ways in which people actually engage with the news online. In this talk, I will discuss an ongoing project that employs network science tools to uncover aggregate patterns of news consumption and determine whether there is evidence of fragmentation and self-selection across demographic groups and national contexts.