The equalization-normalization debate concerns whether the Internet equalizes politics by empowering resource-poor organizations, or whether it further strengthens the position of resource-rich organizations. We address this debate by studying how interest groups' utilization of digital media is associated with their success in influencing news media. We suggest digital media is characterized by the coexistence of old and new media logics that benefit resource-rich and resource-poor groups in different ways. Analyzing a dataset of 1,127 Finnish interest groups, we found that groups' utilization of digital media is positively associated with their news media success, yet traditional ways of influencing the news media remain more effective. Among resource-rich groups with larger public relations staff, blog publishing is positively associated with both media access (media visibility) and agenda-building success (influencing news topics). In contrast, utilization of digital media among resource-poor groups only correlates with agenda-building success, and audiovisual content is more effective than other content. We suggest that while resource-poor groups benefit from network media logic in which the flow of information is initially based on popularity among social media users, resource-rich groups can exploit mass media logic where traditional journalistic gatekeeping is more important. The findings also imply that digital media has not decreased resource-related bias in interest groups' media access.
- 518 Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap