Older audiences in the digital media environment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Relying on Jensen and Helles’ model for studying the Internet as a cultural forum, this study aimed to explore the extent to which traditional media are displaced by innovative communication practices within the older audience of new media. The study was based on a cross-European survey of 1039 Internet users aged 60 years and up. Results indicated that older Internet users are significantly more inclined to use traditional mass media than new social media and prefer synchronous to asynchronous mass media. This audience, however, is not homogeneous, as four subsegments were identified. These groups differed in their media repertoires, sociocultural background and leisure preferences. The findings suggest that despite the increasing percentage of older Internet users, this audience tends to adhere to familiar media practices, with only a minority making intense use of new practices. With very few cross-national differences, this tendency appears to be universal, suggesting overall media use traditionalism and a second-level digital divide among the older audience.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)233-249
Number of pages17
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • Digital divide
  • Internet
  • media displacement
  • media repertoires
  • old age

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences


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