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Partisan media effects beyond one-shot experimental designs

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 June 2021

Kathleen Searles*
Affiliation:
Political Science, Mass Communication, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Joshua P. Darr
Affiliation:
Manship School of Mass Communication, Political Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Mingxiao Sui
Affiliation:
Department of Communication Studies, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Nathan Kalmoe
Affiliation:
Manship School of Mass Communication, Political Science, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Raymond Pingree
Affiliation:
Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Brian Watson
Affiliation:
Crosswind Media, Austin, Texas, USA
*
*Corresponding author. Email: ksearles@lsu.edu

Abstract

Previous study demonstrates that partisans perceive in-party news outlets as fair, and out-party news outlets as unfair. However, much of this study relies on one-shot designs. We create an ecologically valid design that randomly assigns participants to news feeds within a week-long online news portal where the balance of in-party and out-party news outlets has been manipulated. We find that sustained exposure to a feed that features out-party news media attenuates Democrats' beliefs that Fox News is unfair, but the same is not true for Republican's perceptions of MSNBC's fairness. Unexpectedly, repeated exposure to in-party news did increase Republicans' beliefs that Fox News is unfair. This study updates our understanding of partisan news effects in a fragmented online news environment.

Type
Research Note
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the European Political Science Association

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Supplementary material: PDF

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