We were about to go to the field with our research, the date was set for May 2020. We had been working on the questionnaire for months. On 8 March 2020, the Italian government extended the emergency containment measures of Covid-19 to the entire Italian territory. We had to reflect on the implications of these measures for our research aimed at investigating the forms of polarization of Italian citizens’ political opinions in the contemporary media system.
This study adopts a granular approach to the practices that can occur in the “hybrid media system”, in which old and new media logics compete and integrate (technologies, genres, norms, behaviors, organizational forms). Our questionnaire aims to collect data on the use of different information channels, on the experiences of political discussion and participation, and on how to meet political issues and information in the various media arenas. We thus explore the type of exposure to political information on social media, citizens’ trust in different sources of information, their judgment on the quality of information circulated on the media with respect to specific issues and on different information environments in terms of homophilia, incivility, and disinformation. The goal is to identify behaviors and attitudes that may be associated with polarization of political opinions.
Iannelli, L., Splendore, S., Valeriani, A., & Marino, G. (2021). Studiare la polarizzazione politica nello “shockdown mediale”. in Boccia Artieri, G., Farci, M. (Ed.) Shockdown. Media, cultura, comunicazione e ricerca nella pandemia (pp. 343-360). Milano: Meltemi.