This study examines the role of voice-based assistants (VBAs), specifically Alexa, in the mediatization paradigm framework. The authors hypothesize that emerging technologies such as chatbots and VBAs intensify the process of online meta-reintermediation of news. Three research questions were investigated through a questionnaire administered to 655 university students in the US and Italy: Do participants try to get news from Alexa? Are participants aware that VBAs represent a case of meta-reintermediation of news? Does Alexa contribute to the potential hybridization of news, information, and knowledge? The analysis of 451 open-ended answers showed that only a fraction of participants searches for news and information from Alexa, and most are unaware of the meta-reintermediation process. However, the use of Alexa contributes to the potential hybridization of news, information, and knowledge, making the mediatization process increasingly complex and hard to decipher by users.



Author ORCID Identifier

Leopoldina Fortunati: 0000-0001-9691-6870

Autumn Edwards: 0000-0002-5963-197X

Chad Edwards: 0000-0002-1053-6349