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Partisan media effects beyond one-shot experimental designs

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 June 2021

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


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.

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

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