Beyond ´Distant suffering´ and pity-compelled cosmopolitanism – Examining the relation between the consumption of ordinary news, general media consumption and cosmopolitan outlooks in Scandinavia

Johan Eric Lindell


Questions arising out of the global character of the media include whether or not one can become a kosmou politês (citizen of the world) by consuming and using different media whose “relay function” (Schulz, 2004) potentially draws the world into the sphere of the everyday. This potential has mainly been researched from a reception-of-distant-suffering paradigm where what is at stake is the possibility for news reporting to set in motion an “electronic empathy” (Hannerz, 1996). This study ventures beyond this dominant paradigm and uses ESS (European Social Survey) Round 5 2010 to examine the impact of the empirically neglected variables of ordinary news consumption and media consumption in general to see to what extent they cultivate a cosmopolitan outlook in audiences and users. The results indicate that ‘the media’ display ambivalent and multi-directional effects and thus that the notion of “mediated cosmopolitanism” does not withstand empirical testing.


Mediated cosmopolitanism; cosmopolitanization; ESS Round 5 2010; regression analysis (OLS)

Full Text: