News Frames, Political Cynicism, and Media Cynicism

The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (Impact Factor: 1.01). 07/1996; 546(1):71-84. DOI: 10.1177/0002716296546001007


Public confidence in Congress, the government, and social institutions has reached new lows. Healthy skepticism may have given way to corrosive cynicism. Some media watchers and critics blame the media for their preoccupation with the game and strategy of politics rather than social problems and their solution. Others deny that changes in news have affected the quality of democracy or the depth of political alienation. Studies that we have conducted over the past four years show that subtle changes in the way news stories are framed can affect consumers' responses, activating their cynicism when strategic or conflict-oriented frames are used. The studies directly implicate media framing of political news in activating, if not creating, cynicism about campaigns, policy, and governance and imply that cynicism about the news media may be an indirect consequence.

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    • "In communication research, a number of studies have focused on citizen cynicism towards political institutions or the media (cf. Cappella & Jamieson, 1996; Valentino, Beckmann & Buhr, 2001). Depending on context and application, cynicism has been defined as a trait, an attitude (general or specific) or a belief (Andersson, 1996; Dean et al., 1998). "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous research on online privacy has identified a disparity between Internet users’ privacy concerns and actual privacy protection behavior. Given the distinction between social and institutional privacy concerns, this “privacy paradox” appears especially pronounced in the context of institutional privacy threats. A number of studies attempt to explain the privacy paradox based on either user trust, lack of risk awareness or the privacy calculus thesis. In this study, we argue that none of these approaches satisfactorily explain the institutional privacy paradox. Instead, we propose that users faced with institutional privacy threats may develop an attitude we term privacy cynicism. Privacy cynicism serves as a cognitive coping mechanism allowing users to take advantage of online services despite privacy concerns. Based on focus groups conducted among German Internet users and an initial explorative student survey, we define the privacy paradox construct and propose an initial measurement instrument.
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    • "According to Bok (2001), media coverage of public offi cials is merely negative. Given that media framing aff ects perceptions, a high degree of negative reporting on the public sector may infl uence attitudes toward government (Cappella and Jamieson 1996). For example, frequent reporting on political scandals appears to aff ect citizens' perceptions of the public sector negatively (Chanley, Rudolph, and Rahn 2000). "
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    ABSTRACT: Media, politicians, and reform proponents frequently assert that public sector organizations are inefficient and burdened by administrative procedures. But are negative stereotypes of the public sector reflected in people's perceptions of public service provision? Given the methodological challenges of isolating the perception of publicness from other factors related to public organizations, little is known about whether public organizations have a negative image. The authors use a survey experimental design to isolate the effect of publicness on perceptions of the performance of hospitals. The results suggest that public sector organizations have a negative image on productivity-related aspects of performance but not on normative aspects of performance. As this article is a randomized experiment, it provides strong evidence regarding the causal nature of the relationship between publicness and perceptions of performance. Implications for researchers aiming to understand these mechanisms and for public managers concerned about the image of their organization are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Public Administration Review
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    • "Miller (1974, p.952) describe political cynicism as " the degree of negative affect toward the government " and " a statement of the belief that the government is not functioning and producing outputs in accord with individual expectations. " Political cynicism has been studied in different contexts for more than five decades (e.g., Koch, 2003; Lee & Glasure, 2002; Agger, Goldstein, & Pearl, 1961; Lyons, 1970; Cappella & Jamieson, 1996; and Pinkleton & Austin, 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Chamil Rathnayake* is a doctoral student in Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Hawaii, USA. He has a master " s degree in public administration from the University of Hawaii. His research focuses on online politics, social media uses and gratifications, and social media acceptance for politics. He currently serves as a teaching assistant at the School Abstract This study examines effects of political cynicism and efficacy on online political engagement of
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015
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