The Neglected Power of Elite Opinion Leadership to Produce Antipathy Toward the News Media: Evidence from a Survey Experiment

The Neglected Power of Elite Opinion Leadership to Produce Antipathy Toward the News Media:... Today, most Americans dislike the news media as an institution. This has led to considerable debate about why people dislike the media and how their public standing could be improved. This paper contributes to this literature by using a survey experiment to test the effect of several different considerations on evaluations of the media. It finds, consistent with the broader literature on political persuasion, that elite partisan opinion leadership can powerfully shape these attitudes. Additionally, it finds that tabloid coverage creates antipathy toward the press regardless of predispositions and that horserace coverage has a negative effect on opinions among politically aware citizens on both sides of the political spectrum. Contrary to some claims in the literature, this study finds no detectable effect of news negativity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

The Neglected Power of Elite Opinion Leadership to Produce Antipathy Toward the News Media: Evidence from a Survey Experiment

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-009-9097-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Today, most Americans dislike the news media as an institution. This has led to considerable debate about why people dislike the media and how their public standing could be improved. This paper contributes to this literature by using a survey experiment to test the effect of several different considerations on evaluations of the media. It finds, consistent with the broader literature on political persuasion, that elite partisan opinion leadership can powerfully shape these attitudes. Additionally, it finds that tabloid coverage creates antipathy toward the press regardless of predispositions and that horserace coverage has a negative effect on opinions among politically aware citizens on both sides of the political spectrum. Contrary to some claims in the literature, this study finds no detectable effect of news negativity.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: Aug 26, 2009

References

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