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A Three-Decade Retrospective on the Hostile Media Effect

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Abstract

Some 30 years ago, Vallone, Ross, and Lepper (1985) conducted a pioneering study of the hostile media effect in which they demonstrated that partisans perceive media coverage as unfairly biased against their side. Over the ensuing decades, scores of experiments and surveys have extended their findings, demonstrating hostile media effects in a variety of domains. Taking the measure of the research more than 30 years later by systematically reviewing the many studies conducted in different locales, this article summarizes the knowledge base on the hostile media effect. The article integrates findings, clarifies conceptual issues, and presents two research-based models of the effect. Future scholarly pathways are suggested, with a focus on how hostile media biases may change—or continue—in an era vastly different than the mass communication-dominated age in which the concept was pioneered. © 2015 Mass Communication & Society Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.

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... News audience may get concerned not necessarily because mass shooting news actually is biased against people with mental health issues, but because of the potential that if the news report is biased, it could influence how society treats people with mental health problems. Just as put by Perloff (2015), perceived media bias can "precipitate media effects by setting in motion a series of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors" (p. 703). ...
... Besides, the tendency of seeing news coverage of a certain issue as biased against one's own point of view is particularly salient when people are highly involved (Perloff, 2015). According to Johnson and Eagly (1989), people feel involved when an activated attitude is associated with a certain dimension of self-concept. ...
... Involvement has been found to moderate biased media perception in a positive direction (Hansen & Kim, 2011). As one's preexisting political ideology sets the conditions for biased media perception, one's involvement serves to accentuate such biased perceptions (Perloff, 2015). ...
Article
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The current study tested the “corrective action hypothesis” by analyzing intentions to engage in discursive activities for mental health in response to news coverage of mass shootings. Hypotheses were proposed regarding how involvements with the news influence on people with mental health issues moderate preexisting attitude toward people with mental health issues in predicting perceived media bias, and how perceived media bias predicts intention to engage in discursive activities for mental health. Two hundred nighty eight respondents were surveyed through Qualtrics national research panels. The results suggested participants would not be motivated by their prior attitude toward mental health to take part in discursive activities unless they are highly involved with the news issue and in the meantime perceived mass shooting coverage is biased against people with mental health. The results extended the discussion of corrective action hypothesis to the context of media coverage of mass shooting – a significant issue nowadays that intertwines with public health concerns. The results also provide a basis for the discussion of the potential benefits of employing perceived media bias in educating the public by appealing to individuals’ outcome concerns and value systems.
... HME manifests when news coverage relies on objectively factual statistics, such as polling information with equivalent status and attention to candidates (Reid 2012, 390), but also when the news narrative is slanted: both sides acknowledge the slant but disagree about its magnitude (Schmitt, Gunther, and Liebhart 2004). HME is more likely to manifest among strong partisans (Feldman 2017) such that for highly partisan issues, news credibility becomes subjective and is not necessarily reflective of actual bias from the source or the story (Choi, Watt, and Lynch 2006); this subjectivity increases perceptions of hostility and diminishes trust in media and in democracy (Perloff 2015). There are downstream effects of this diminished trust, as the perception that biased news reaches a wide audience corresponds with decreased trust in the democratic process and greater willingness to resort to violent resistance (Tsfati and Cohen 2005). ...
... While past work on HME mitigation has focussed principally on addressing either sender or receiver challenges, we follow suggestions in current literature (Perloff 2015) to argue for a potential middle-ground approach. "Charges of media bias … may result from the operation of basic cognitive and perceptual mechanisms, mechanisms that should prove relevant to perceptions of fairness or objectivity" (Vallone, Ross, and Lepper 1985, 577). ...
... To clearly identify the discrete influence of source cues (apart from story content), participants first viewed a profile for a fictional journalist before viewing a news item associated with that journalist. Towards a conservative test of the proposed model and in line with contemporary preferences to consume news via social media (Perloff 2015), we presented the stimulus via a constructed Facebook profile and posted story preview. This design allowed for mitigation of potential confounds that could have led to conflicting findings in past studies: potential for conflation of source and story cues, variance in attention paid to longer stories, and potential order effects associated with matching-but-ordered coverage of opposing perspectives. ...
Article
In the face of increasing public distrust for journalistic institutions, stories sourced from artificially intelligent (AI) journalists have the potential to lower hostile media bias by activating the machine heuristic—a mental shortcut assuming machines are more unbiased, systematic, and accurate than are humans. An online experiment targeting issue partisans found support for the prediction: a story presented as sourced from an AI journalist activated the machine heuristic that, in turn, mitigated hostile media bias. This mediation effect was moderated: perceived bias was more strongly reduced as partisan-attitude extremity increased.
... To date, HME has been studied almost entirely in the context of traditional media (e.g., television news, hard-copy newspapers). As Perloff (2015) pointed out in an extensive recent review of HME, "there is scarcely any research exploring how the Internet or the plethora of social media give rise to hostile media effects" (p. 719). ...
... If so, how? As Perloff (2015) put it, "whether (or how) hostile media effects will emerge in the white-hot atmosphere of social media discussions of controversial issues" is a "particularly intriguing and vexing issue" (p. 720). ...
... It appears that, because people generally believe that others are likely to be affected by slanted media coverage, they become especially sensitive to those effects when they perceive them as likely to occur on a meaningful scale-as is the case when a large audience is involved (see Gunther, 1998;Gunther et al., 2009). However, as Perloff (2015) pointed out in reviewing the HME literature, "it has been understandably difficult to tease out media reach (e.g., news article vs. a student essay) from source (student author vs. journalist) in experimental designs, leading to some confounding in manipulations" (p. 716). ...
... Two well-established theoretical approaches can be used to understand this issue: the hostile media effect, which states that individuals tend to perceive media coverage about conflicts as hostile toward their own group and perspective (Vallone et al., 1985), and the 'influence of presumed influence' approach, which states that individuals perceive media coverage to have a strong influence on other people's perceptions, attitudes, or behaviour (Gunther and Storey, 2003). Research has shown that both perceptions can have significant consequences, such as stronger support for media restriction, increased feelings of social alienation, or radicalization processes (for an overview: Perloff, 2015;Post, 2019;Sun, 2013). ...
... The perception of hostile media coverage among individuals or groups with strong opinions on a conflict has been confirmed in many studies. In these studies, the respondents should either evaluate specific journalistic reports or evaluate all coverage of a conflict (for an overview: Gunther, 2017;McLeod et al., 2017;Perloff, 2015;Post, 2019). effect (Davison, 1983), which states that individuals perceive the media's influence on others as being stronger than its influence on themselves and that this so-called third-person perception can elicit consequences. ...
... Research has shown that hostile media perceptions and presumed influences on others can have consequences (for an overview: McLeod et al., 2017;Perloff, 2015;Post, 2019;Sun, 2013;Tsfati and Cohen, 2013). Hostile media perceptions, for example, lead to intensified negative emotional reactions to media (Hwang et al., 2008); are related to mistrust of the media and, indirectly, to mistrust of democracy (Newman and Fletcher, 2017;Tsfati and Cohen, 2005a); and are associated with political activism (e.g. ...
Article
During the European debt crisis, German and Greek media frequently reported on the political conflict between the two countries. This article examines to what extent the media coverage in one country about the other is considered by German and Greek citizens to be hostile (‘hostile media perception’) and influential (‘influence of presumed influence’). Data from a comparative survey in Germany ( n = 492) and Greece ( n = 484) show that news coverage by foreign media on the European debt crisis is perceived by respondents as hostile against their own country and as influential. Moreover, both media-related perceptions are linked with intensified perceptions of hostility, such as assumptions that an individual’s country is not respected in the other country or that the other country’s citizens are demanding that the individual’s country be punished. Based on these results, it is discussed whether media-related perceptions can have a conflict-intensifying effect in international crises.
... More specifically, the relative HMEs theory suggests that partisans tend to perceive the same media content differently and perceive less bias in the news coverage leaning toward their views than their opponents (Feldman, 2011;. The HME theory has been tested in numerous contexts through both experimental and survey methods (Feldman, 2017;Perloff, 2015). A recent meta-analysis of 34 HME studies has shown that a considerable number of empirical studies have provided widespread evidence of HME (Hansen & Kim, 2011). ...
... Early HME studies often suggest that hostile media phenomenon is limited to partisans who have strong issue involvement (e.g., Giner-Sorolla & Chaiken, 1994;Vallone et al., 1985). Recent studies, however, view issue involvement as a moderator of HME (Perloff, 2015). ...
... Source credibility was initially used to measure how the characteristics of speakers influence the receiver's acceptance of a message (Hovland et al., 1953). Factors such as the speaker's expertise, truthfulness, and motivation to tell the truth are major characteristics to determine source credibility (e.g., Hovland et al., 1953;Perloff, 2015). The concept of credibility is related to different theoretical concepts including trust and fairness (Engelke et al., 2019). ...
Article
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The relative hostile media effect suggests that partisans tend to perceive the bias of slanted news differently depending on whether the news is slanted in favor of or against their sides. To explore the effect of an algorithmic vs. human source on hostile media perceptions, this study conducts a 3 (author attribution: human, algorithm, or human-assisted algorithm) x 3 (news attitude: pro-issue, neutral, or anti-issue) mixed factorial design online experiment ( N = 511). This study uses a transformer-based adversarial network to auto-generate comparable news headlines. The framework was trained with a dataset of 364,986 news stories from 22 mainstream media outlets. The results show that the relative hostile media effect occurs when people read news headlines attributed to all types of authors. News attributed to a sole human source is perceived as more credible than news attributed to two algorithm-related sources. For anti-Trump news headlines, there exists an interaction effect between author attribution and issue partisanship while controlling for people’s prior belief in machine heuristics. The difference of hostile media perceptions between the two partisan groups was relatively larger in anti-Trump news headlines compared with pro-Trump news headlines.
... Since then, many studies have replicated and extended these findings, prompting scholars to suggest that "partisan perceptions of hostile bias appear to be a robust finding across a wide range of issues, partisan groups, and media channels" (Gunther et al. 2012, p. 441). This literature has also offered several mechanisms for, and moderators of, this phenomenon (Perloff 2015). Perceptions of hostile media bias are said to have important consequences, such as reducing trust in the media and political efficacy (Tsfati and Cohen 2005;Perloff 2015), as well as triggering demands for corrections of media content and calls for media regulation (Yair and Sulitzeanu-Kenan 2018). ...
... This literature has also offered several mechanisms for, and moderators of, this phenomenon (Perloff 2015). Perceptions of hostile media bias are said to have important consequences, such as reducing trust in the media and political efficacy (Tsfati and Cohen 2005;Perloff 2015), as well as triggering demands for corrections of media content and calls for media regulation (Yair and Sulitzeanu-Kenan 2018). ...
... The paper thus asks whether the hostile mediator phenomenon-HMRP-applies outside the media context: RQ1: Do rival partisans perceive neutrality-bound mediators as biased against their respective camps outside the media context? Furthermore, previous HMP studies have shown that those who are politically involved, those who are ideologically extreme, and those who feel a strong attachment to their political group are more likely to exhibit the HMP (e.g., Eveland and Shah 2003;Perloff 2015). Finding similar phenomenon outside the media context could further support the suggestion that people's bias perceptions share similarities across contexts. ...
Article
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Rival partisans tend to perceive ostensibly balanced news coverage as biased against their respective sides; this is known as the "hostile media phenomenon" (HMP). Yet complaints of hostile bias are common in many other contexts besides the media (e.g., law enforcement and academia). Can something like the HMP occur outside the context of news coverage? And do perceptions of political bias in different contexts share certain similarities? This paper proposes that the HMP should be understood as a specific case of a more general hostile mediator phenomenon, where rival partisans perceive various public institutions and organizations that are expected to be neutral as biased against their respective sides. The paper starts by presenting a theoretical framework according to which partisans' bias perceptions are affected by the threat to the power and status of their ingroup posed by a mediator's actions. Evidence from three studies (N=4,164) shows that members of rival ideological camps in Israel perceived the Israeli Attorney General and the Israeli police to be biased against their respective camps. An additional study (N=2,172) shows that both Democrats and Republicans perceived the social network Facebook to be biased against their side. Moreover, an embedded, pre-registered survey experiment buttresses the causal claim that ingroup-threatening information increases perceptions of hostile bias. The implications of these findings for our understanding of people's bias perceptions, as well as for citizens' trust in public institutions and democratic stability more generally, are then discussed.
... The HMP may have severe undesirable consequences such as loss of confidence in conventional politics, increased polarization of extreme groups or even alienation from democratic processes (Gunther, 2008). Since the seminal study by Vallone et al. (1985), researchers from around the globe have accumulated strong evidence for the HMP, covering numerous issues, demonstrating the effect for all types of news media, examining moderators as well as mediators, and showing an overall medium-sized effect with meta-analysis (see for a review, Perloff, 2015; for meta-analysis, Hansen & Kim, 2011). ...
... In other words, no matter how balanced a respective news story is, strong prior views and identification with a particular party may result in the perception of journalistic bias. In the subsequent years following Vallone et al.'s study, findings from numerous studies suggest that the effect is robust and occurs for all kinds of issues (Hansen & Kim, 2011;Perloff, 2015). For instance, Perloff (1989) replicated Vallone et al.'s (1985) findings also using the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a study context. ...
... For such images, we should nevertheless expect hostile media perceptions. More specifically, we expected that similar to the findings of Vallone et al. (1985) and many others (see Perloff, 2015) supporters from both sides would perceive balanced visuals of the Israel-Palestine conflict (i.e., a balanced photo series) to be biased against their own group. Based on this reasoning, we formulated our first hypothesis. ...
Article
The hostile media phenomenon (HMP) refers to a process in which supporters and opponents of an issue perceive the identical coverage to be biased against their own views. Despite the relevance of visual communication in our field, scholars have treated hostile media perceptions as a text-based phenomenon ignoring the unique role of visuals. This paper makes the case for a visual hostile media phenomenon (VHMP). The VHMP posits that completely balanced pictures are perceived as biased both by opponents and supporters of an issue. Two experimental studies on the Israel–Palestine conflict provide clear evidence for this reasoning. Study 1 shows that Palestine (Israel) supporters perceived a balanced photo series as biased toward Israel (Palestine) irrespective of the series’ reach. This effect was also visible for clearly slanted pro-Israel and pro-Palestine pictures (i.e., relative VHMP). Study 2 replicates these findings and sheds some first light on the underlying mechanism. Theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.
... Individuals rated identical news content differently based on its source attribution, seeing CNN-attributed content as biased toward liberals and Foxattributed content as biased toward conservatives. Similar studies have found that individuals view political and religious news as less (more) biased when attributed to a perceived congruent (or incongruent) source, particularly when they have stronger views (Ariyanto, Hornsey, and Gallois 2007;Kim 2016;Perloff 2015), and that sports news attributed to a rival team's local paper is viewed as biased in favour of that team (Arpan and Raney 2003). In the realm of credibility research, Metzger, Hartsell, and Flanagin (2020) have found that news from a perceived ideologically congruent source (e.g., a Republican seeing news from Fox) is viewed as being more credible than news from a perceived ideologically incongruent source (see also Kim 2016). ...
... Moreover, as noted above, given the role that ideological beliefs play in biasing the processing of information, it can also be expected that strength of ideological beliefs will moderate the relationship between perceived source congruency and news credibility (Feldman 2017;Kim 2016;Oh, Park, and Wanta 2011;Perloff 2015;Reid 2012): ...
... This finding is consistent with prior research (Kim 2016;Metzger, Hartsell, and Flanagin 2020), again showing that individuals downplay information from sources they perceive as going against their attitudes or beliefs, instead preferring information from sources with which they agree. Consistent with this research (Ariyanto, Hornsey, and Gallois 2007;Kim 2016;Oh, Park, and Wanta 2011;Perloff 2015) is also the moderating effect of strength of ideology: the stronger an individual's liberal/conservative political beliefs, the higher they rate the credibility of neutral political news from an ideologically congruent source and the lower they rate the credibility of political news from an ideologically incongruent source. Interestingly, strength of ideology also moderates the effect of a neutral source on news credibility: individuals with stronger ideological beliefs view political news from a neutral source (i.e., absent any news brand source cues) as more credible. ...
Article
This study explores the moderating effects that ideological and epistemological beliefs have on the relationship between perceived news source congruency and ratings of news credibility. Findings from an online experiment with a US sample (N = 429) show that news from a perceived ideologically congruent source is seen as being more credible than news from an ideologically incongruent source. Stronger ideological beliefs exacerbate this effect. Epistemological beliefs also moderate this effect. The more that individuals view the nature of knowledge and knowing in certain, black-and-white terms, the more likely they are to rate political news from an ideologically congruent source as credible. On the other hand, the more evaluative that individuals’ views on the nature of knowledge and knowing are, the more likely they are to rate political news from a neutral source as credible. Findings raise normative concerns regarding the ready acceptance of agreeable information yet also point to a potential path toward mitigating this problem: fostering critical, evaluative thinking.
... Two well-established theoretical approaches can be used to understand this issue: the hostile media effect, which states that individuals tend to perceive media coverage about conflicts as hostile toward their own group and perspective (Vallone et al., 1985), and the 'influence of presumed influence' approach, which states that individuals perceive media coverage to have a strong influence on other people's perceptions, attitudes, or behaviour (Gunther and Storey, 2003). Research has shown that both perceptions can have significant consequences, such as stronger support for media restriction, increased feelings of social alienation, or radicalization processes (for an overview: Perloff, 2015;Post, 2019;Sun, 2013). ...
... The perception of hostile media coverage among individuals or groups with strong opinions on a conflict has been confirmed in many studies. In these studies, the respondents should either evaluate specific journalistic reports or evaluate all coverage of a conflict (for an overview: Gunther, 2017;McLeod et al., 2017;Perloff, 2015;Post, 2019). effect (Davison, 1983), which states that individuals perceive the media's influence on others as being stronger than its influence on themselves and that this so-called third-person perception can elicit consequences. ...
... Research has shown that hostile media perceptions and presumed influences on others can have consequences (for an overview: McLeod et al., 2017;Perloff, 2015;Post, 2019;Sun, 2013;Tsfati and Cohen, 2013). Hostile media perceptions, for example, lead to intensified negative emotional reactions to media (Hwang et al., 2008); are related to mistrust of the media and, indirectly, to mistrust of democracy (Newman and Fletcher, 2017;Tsfati and Cohen, 2005a); and are associated with political activism (e.g. ...
Article
During the European debt crisis, German and Greek media frequently reported on the political conflict between the two countries. This article examines to what extent the media coverage in one country about the other is considered by German and Greek citizens to be hostile (‘hostile media perception’) and influential (‘influence of presumed influence’). Data from a comparative survey in Germany (n = 492) and Greece (n = 484) show that news coverage by foreign media on the European debt crisis is perceived by respondents as hostile against their own country and as influential. Moreover, both media-related perceptions are linked with intensified perceptions of hostility, such as assumptions that an individual’s country is not respected in the other country or that the other country’s citizens are demanding that the individual’s country be punished. Based on these results, it is discussed whether media-related perceptions can have a conflict-intensifying effect in international crises.
... Research on the hostile media phenomenon kicked off nearly 35 years ago with Vallone et al.'s (1985) seminal study. Building on the idea that people process information in light of their prior beliefs, the researchers were interested in what appeared to be an exception to the "selective perception" rule (Perloff, 2015): While people normally tend to selectively perceive information that fits with previously existing viewpoints (Lord et al., 1979), they seem to do the opposite when mass media are involved, focusing on opposing information instead. The team showed an ostensibly neutral report about the 1982 "Beirut massacre" to both Arab and Israeli student groups at Stanford University. ...
... Survey research has also generally supported the central premise of the hostile media phenomenon: that "partisans" (those with strong political beliefs) tend to perceive media as biased against them (Eveland & Shah, 2003;Huge & Glynn, 2010;Lee, 2005;Watson & Riffe, 2013;Wei et al., 2011). Indeed, the hostile media effect is one of the most long-standing, consistent effects observed in media research (Hansen & Kim, 2011;Perloff, 2015). ...
... Drawing from earlier ideas about the role of ego-involvement in social judgment theory (Hovland et al., 1957), Vallone and colleagues assumed that the hostile media phenomenon was specific to groups of opposing partisans, although they did not define what partisanship means. As Perloff explains (Perloff, 2015), this less-than-specific approach has led to some disagreement among scholars about (a) what partisanship is and (b) whether it should be included as part of the definition of the hostile media phenomenon or considered to be a moderator. On the first point, scholars have examined the role of issue importance (Gunther & Lasorsa, 1986), political involvement (Gunther et al., 2001), and attitude extremity (Arpan & Raney, 2003;Gunther, 1988), but, as we shall discuss below, it is group membership that has been the most influential on current research (e.g., Gunther, 1992). ...
Article
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The global media ecology offers news audiences a wide variety of sources for international news and interpretation of foreign affairs, and this kind of news coverage may increase the salience of both domestic and national partisan identity cues. Based upon the recognition that individuals hold multiple partisan identities that can be more or less salient in different situations, the current study draws upon self-categorization and social identity theory to design a set of studies that pit competing partisan identities against one another. The results of two experiments indicate that both national and domestic partisan identities are directly related to perceived media bias regarding the coverage of U.S-Chinese relations from both domestic and foreign media sources.Results varied based on the dimension of media bias considered, with perceived favorability towards the United States impacted more consistently by source origin than perceived favorability toward personal worldview.Results are discussed in terms of how they advance theory about perceived media bias, specifically in light of the implications of the global media environment for our understanding of partisanship.
... Arceneaux et al. (2012) have postulated that partisan media figures espouse views which are ideologically and affectively coherent with their intended in-group target audience. At the same time, they also actively oppose the positions of their counterparts (Arceneaux et al., 2012), whilst criticising so-called mainstream media for their supposed biases (Perloff, 2015). By serving as "sources of negative affect toward news media" (Arceneaux et al., 2012, p. 184), partisan media arguably contribute to what Arceneaux et al. term "oppositional media hostility." ...
... However, this situation has changed dramatically since the concept was first introduced. Today's media environment is characterised to a significant extent by the pervasive capacity of audiences to interact in complex ways with political information (Perloff, 2015), enabling them to become active participants in what Chadwick (2011) has termed the "political information cycle." As pointed out by Perloff (2015), alongside the growth of partisan media and the proliferation of social media, the very character of perceptions of bias have also changed over the three-decade history of research on hostile media perceptions. ...
... Today's media environment is characterised to a significant extent by the pervasive capacity of audiences to interact in complex ways with political information (Perloff, 2015), enabling them to become active participants in what Chadwick (2011) has termed the "political information cycle." As pointed out by Perloff (2015), alongside the growth of partisan media and the proliferation of social media, the very character of perceptions of bias have also changed over the three-decade history of research on hostile media perceptions. ...
Thesis
This thesis presents a qualitative account of what affective polarisation looks like at the level of online user-generated discourse. It examines how users of the American right-wing news and opinion website TheBlaze.com articulated partisan oppositions in the site’s below-the-line comment field during and after the 2016 US presidential election. To date, affective polarisation has been studied from a predominantly quantitative perspective that has focused largely on partisanship as a powerful form of social identity. This contributes to a growing recognition of the central role of partisan identity in the evaluation of politics by publics within the American two-party system. However, analyses of partisan identification in the US have also shown how negative affect towards opposing partisans has led some people to dislike the other party more than they like the one with which they identify. This establishes a pivotal relation between affective polarisation and so-called negative partisanship. At the same time, the election of Donald Trump as US president has led to a new interest in the content and articulation of American conservative identity, particularly as this relates to the role of hybrid partisan media in the production and negotiation of group boundaries. Against this backdrop, my thesis concentrates on the construction of self/other distinctions in partisan news commentary. It employs a conceptual framework which integrates constructionist thematic analysis with an articulation approach grounded in the work of Laclau and Mouffe. Articulation is here viewed as the ongoing struggle to “fix” meaning – including the meaning of society and identity – in ways that exclude other meanings. This highlights the essentially political dimensions of articulation as the mechanism via which the social is produced through discursive acts of opposition and exclusion. My analysis reveals how the boundaries of American conservatism are contested through the public performance of antagonism; how characterisations of political difference are performed with reference to the political and economic significance of hybrid partisan media; and how the use of partisan media is rhetorically related to broader historical processes of social, cultural, and political transformation via antagonistic imaginaries of American past, present, and future – processes which are claimed to threaten America’s survival as a manifestation of divine providence encoded in the US Constitution.
... In other words, there is not only the partisan nature of the media itself, but also the polarizing effects of information cocooning that exists in the seemingly free-flowing field of social media opinions [10]. Furthermore, hostile media effects are widely present in social life [11]. People will filter or block information presented by media with an opposing political stance or being stereotypically categorized. ...
... According to the relevant literature review and the specific research questions of this study [41], we believe that the media biases of other countries may also superimpose the phenomenon of hostile media effects [11]. Therefore, we used two progressive questions in the measurement of this indicator: (1) I think the media are biased. ...
... The results showed that, in terms of the impact of social media information, people's perceptions of media bias reduced the pressure on the severity of the pandemic brought by social media information. At the same time, people's internal awareness of the hostile media phenomena improved the judgment of the impact of social media information contact on the severity of the international urban pandemic [11,32]. ...
Article
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International metropolises are key sites of outbreaks of COVID-19 cases. Global public evaluation of the pandemic in international cities is affected by many factors. This study examines how media exposure affects this evaluation and how media trust and media bias perception moderate the relationship between them. Based on an online survey of the evaluation of 13 international cities’ pandemic performances by 1171 citizens from 11 countries, this study conducted a multi-level stepwise regression analysis and discovered that: (1) different forms of media affect global citizens’ perceptions of international metropolis COVID-19 pandemic performance differently; and the role of traditional paper media, including newspapers and magazines, is of little significance in comparison to electronic media. (2) Among electronic media, TV and broadcasting have the greatest impact, followed by social media and the Internet. (3) Media trust and media bias perception affect people’s evaluations of international urban pandemics, but our survey reveals that they only function with regard to social media.
... Hostile media perception (HMP) theory posits that partisans perceive identical neutral news coverage from sources seen as opposite to their political leaning as biased across a variety of controversial topics. HMP effects have been empirically identified as regards security, elections, sports and so on [5][6][7][8][9][10]. However, some of the most recent and pressing issues in the US society have not received much scrutiny in this regard yet. ...
... If political stance does lead people to evaluate news on the basis of the source rather than its content, then we can expect HMP to have broader attitudinal and behavioural consequences [8,9]. In particular, neutral coverage of news by outlets opposite to people's political leaning could also affect one's willingness to spread such information [19,20]: reading news from a source perceived as politically biased might lead us to ignore it entirely, decreasing our willingness to share it with others. ...
... Note that only MTurkers who took part in the screening survey could participate in the experiment. The sample size was determined on the basis of previous studies and standards in the field [6,8,9,33,34]. The screening survey was completed by 997 participants who were then invited to the experiment; 822 MTurkers returned for the experiment ( participation rate = 82.4%). ...
Article
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Hostile media perception (HMP) theory suggests that partisans perceive neutral coverage of news by outlets opposite to their political leaning as biased against their side. We conducted two pre-registered online experiments to assess the effect of HMP on news bias and news sharing intentions regarding two salient and controversial topics in the US: police conduct (Study 1, N = 817) and COVID-19 norms (Study 2, N = 819). Results show that partisans perceive neutral coverage of news by outlets opposite to their political leaning as biased, even when we account for their prior beliefs regarding the media outlet and news content. However, HMP seems to be limited in its consequences, as it has little impact on partisans' willingness to share news from outlets of opposite political leaning, even though the news is perceived as biased.
... Research suggests that declining trust in the mass media is a factor behind the weakening of democratic institutions (Tsfati and Cohen 2005). Perceived media bias -a factor of trust in the news mediacan lead to indignation and mistrust of democratic institutions, actions to impede government functioning, and social withdrawal and alienation among individuals (Perloff 2015). Political trust (how much individuals trust political institutions) and social trust (how much individuals trust one another) are two of the strongest indicators of trust in the news media (Ariely 2015;Hanitzsch, van Dalen, and Steindl 2018). ...
... Like confirmation biases, contrast biases such as the hostile media effect have been found to have wider effects on democratic discourse. The hostile media effect has been negatively correlated to trust in media and trust in democratic institutions (Tsfati and Cohen 2005;Perloff 2015). The effect is also related to increased political polarization, which has been cited as a significant reason for declining trust in news media (Ladd 2012). ...
... Source hostility is an extension of hostile media effects theory. Perloff (2015) has suggested that oppositional media hostility is a useful and relevant way of approaching hostile media effects given the increase of partisan news outlets online and individuals' selective exposure to news. However, unlike hostile media effects theory, the most partisan individuals are not necessarily the most likely to find counterattitudinal news the most biased (Arceneaux and Johnson 2015). ...
Thesis
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This dissertation seeks to answer the pressing question of whether labeling opinionated content online as opinion affects readers’ perceived credibility of news sources and trust in the news media. This research was motivated by the many search engines and social media sites that do not label opinionated content as such on their platforms. To answer this question, two studies explore the effects of ‘opinion labels’ on news previews (known as ‘story cards’) on readers’ perceived credibility. Story cards are employed because news consumers often interact with them instead of news websites. In study one, a 3 (news source) x 2 (headline opinion polarity) x 2 (presence of opinion labels) between-subjects design investigated the effects of opinion labels on the perceived credibility of news sources when participants (N = 389) were presented a feed containing biased and unbiased content from one news source. In study two, a mixed design with three levels (prominence of opinion labels) investigated the effects of opinion labels on readers’ perceived credibility of news sources when participants (N = 275) were presented a feed containing biased and unbiased content from multiple news sources. Study one found that labeling opinionated content as opinion significantly increased the perceived credibility of a news source (p < .01). Additionally, opinion labels significantly changed credibility perceptions even among political affiliates viewing oppositional content. Findings from study one suggest opinion labels increase perceived credibility because the labels increase perceived opinion segmentation – the distinctions between news and opinion and between author and source. Previous research indicated that heuristic cues need to be of sufficient visual prominence to affect perceived credibility. However, study two found that the prominence of the labels did not have an effect in a multiple source environment. Findings from study two therefore support the source blindness effect over the prominence-interpretation theory. This dissertation deepened knowledge of heuristics and credibility theory by examining how and why heuristic cues, specifically opinion labels, affect readers’ perceived credibility of news sources. The findings have broad socio-political implications as they indicate that design choices such as labeling content can significantly impact credibility and media trust.
... The notion of the relative HMP would explain why strong conservative partisans might admit that Rush Limbaugh has a conservative bent, but would see him as being relatively fair and balanced in comparison to liberal partisans. Perloff (2015) discusses the nature of the linkage between partisanship and the HMP, identifying three theoretical explanations: social identification, involvement and the influence of pre-existing values, favoring the latter as his preferred explanation. He argues that, not only is this a more parsimonious explanation, it also links to Social Judgment Theory through the contrast effect that results from information that falls within the latitude of rejection of political partisans. ...
... The results indicated that partisans from each side were making different judgments regarding the same content. Perloff (2015) notes an additional mediating factor--prior beliefs about news media bias that may come into play when individuals are asked to make judgments about media bias. To be sure, there are popular views regarding news bias on both sides of the political spectrum. ...
... It explains why American conservatives are so passionate in their indictment of the liberal media, while at the same time, liberals, perhaps less vocally, see the mainstream media as having a conservative bias. Perloff (2015) notes that the results of the Vallone, Ross, and Lepper (1985) study ran counter to the research at the time, which focused on selective perception that led to the assimilation of information, such as Lord, Ross, and Lepper's (1979) Second, from the perspective of Social Judgment Theory, we may have a wider latitude of acceptance for research reports leading to assimilation effects and a wider latitude for rejection for news stories leading to contrast effects. Finally, contrast judgments appear when individuals judge messages perceived as reaching beyond themselves. ...
Article
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This review explicates the past, present and future of theory and research concerning audience perceptions of the media as well as the effects that perceptions of media have on audiences. Before the sections that examine media perceptions and media effects perceptions, we first identify various psychological concepts and processes involved in generating media-related perceptions. In the first section, we analyze two types of media perceptions: media trust/credibility perceptions and bias perceptions, focusing on research on the Hostile Media Perception. In both cases, we address the potential consequences of these perceptions. In the second section, we assess theory and research on perceptions of media effects (often referred to as Presumed Influence) and their consequences (referred to as the Influence of Presumed Influence). As examples of Presumed Influence, we evaluate the literature on the Persuasive Press Inference and the Third-Person Perception. The bodies of research on media perceptions and media effects perceptions have been featured prominently in the top journals of the field of mass communication over the past 20 years. Here we bring them together in one synthetic theoretical review.
... From a practical perspective, however, media literacy interventions are dependent on research that not only examines why users share fake news, but also uncovers why users may engage in countering behavior. This paper builds on two strains of research which seem to be particularly fruitful for identifying the reasons that motivate users to act against distorted UGC as a form of corrective action: hostile media perceptions, that is, the finding that people tend to perceive the media as biased against their in-group (e.g., Perloff, 2015), and presumed influences, that is, the notion that people suspect that the media exerts effects on themselves and others (Davison, 1983;Gunther & Storey, 2003). ...
... This explanation leads away from presumed effects and focuses on experiences with UGC and its behavioral effects. It posits that people with strong attitudes or involvement perceive the media to be biased against their opinions (Perloff, 2015), and are, as a behavioral implication, more likely to engage in corrective actions (Barnidge & Rojas, 2014;Gunther & Storey, 2003). This mechanism has been confirmed in the context of perceived threats (Tsfati & Cohen, 2005) and participation (Ho et al., 2011), as well as online discussions in general (Hwang et al., 2008), and political discussions specifically (Hwang et al., 2006). ...
Article
In recent times, distorted information has frequently been discussed as a serious problem for democracies. There are concerns that such information spreading via social media may lead to severe effects, such as a decline in social cohesion. Apart from platforms and journal-istic organizations, users play a decisive role in preventing the spread of distorted information by flagging, reporting or countering. The current study contributes to the literature by providing new insights into users' motivations for engaging in this important task. Building on literature on biased perceptions and presumed influences, and using a German random-quota survey (N = 2,973) we showed that the countering of distorted information is influenced by hostile media perceptions and the presumed influence on the individual but not by perceived influences on others. If users experience personal attacks online and perceive user-generated content as important for their own opinion formation, they are more likely to become active in fighting distorted information.
... Ideology has a further interaction with trust through the force known as the hostile media effect (HME). This is the tendency for partisans to see neutral media coverage as biased against their side and for the opposing camp (Feldman 2018;Perloff 2015;Vallone, Ross, and Lepper 1985). In his model drawing on three decades of research about the hostile media effect, Perloff (2015) posited that the HME leads to media mistrust, via a person's perception that the climate of public opinion is unfavorable towards her position. ...
... This is the tendency for partisans to see neutral media coverage as biased against their side and for the opposing camp (Feldman 2018;Perloff 2015;Vallone, Ross, and Lepper 1985). In his model drawing on three decades of research about the hostile media effect, Perloff (2015) posited that the HME leads to media mistrust, via a person's perception that the climate of public opinion is unfavorable towards her position. As the basis for this component of his model, Perloff cited Tsfati and Cohen (2005), who in a survey of Israeli participants and analysis using structural equation modeling, found that hostile media perceptions were a significant predictor of media distrust. ...
Article
Media trust is at near-record lows, arguably lowering news consumption, threatening the viability of journalism, and increasing citizen polarization. In examining the causes of low media trust, researchers often look at intrinsic audience factors rather than audience perceptions of journalism—in particular, documenting media trust's strong inverse correlation with conservatism, but seldom investigating trust's relationship with perceptions of journalistic quality. The quality connection is worth investigating because studies have found that journalistic errors are common, and such inaccuracies are also widely perceived. This study asked which has a stronger impact on media trust, audience ideologies or perceived journalistic errors. Using a survey of 1026 U.S. adults, the study found an inverse relationship between error perceptions and trust levels. The most frequently perceived errors were sensationalized or understated stories and stories missing essential information. Three types of errors and both social and economic conservatism were found to have statistically significant, negative relationships with trust, while a fourth error type—misspellings—had a positive relationship. The two ideological factors had a slightly stronger media trust impact than the collective error types. Nonetheless, perception of errors accounted for significant variation in trust levels. These results bolster the imperative for rigorous reporting and editing.
... Research has suggested that myriad factors, such as conversations with like-minded others (Eveland & Shah, 2003), identification with social groups (Gunther, 1992), and political trust (Lee, 2005(Lee, , 2010, are associated with perceptions of media bias. Perception of media bias has also been recognized as an intergroup phenomenon (e.g., Hartmann & Tanis, 2013;Lee, 2005;Perloff, 2015). For instance, Vallone et al. (1985) suggested that partisans may perceive neutral news coverage as biased against their political party and overestimate the power of the coverage in swaying nonpartisans in a direction that is hostile toward their party. ...
... Depending on our level of identification with the group, we respond to these threats differently, such as disassociating ourselves from the group, displaying outgroup derogation, or engaging in defensive behaviors. When the media coverage of an issue that is closely associated with the interests or ideology of a group makes the group identity salient (Perloff, 2015), high identifiers, compared with low identifiers, may be more susceptible to the belief that media coverage is biased against their group. ...
Article
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This study examined how news audience’s predispositions (value and outcome involvement, political and gun ownership identities) predicted perceived media bias in mass shooting coverage against gun owners and intention to participate in discursive activities concerning gun issues. Republicans, strong identifiers of gun ownership, and those who perceived the outcome of tightening gun ownership would affect their lives predicted perceptions of media bias. Strong party identifiers, gun ownership identifiers, and those who displayed outcome involvement predicted intention to participate in discursive activities. Perceived media bias was not found to predict the intention to participate in discursive activities concerning gun issues. The results extended the theoretical discussion of corrective action hypothesis and increased our understanding of both individual-level (personal involvement) and social-psychological level (social identities) factors relevant to biased media perception.
... Three conditions apply for the hostile media effect (Gunther, 2015): The effect is associated with controversial issues; the effect becomes real among involved partisans; and the effect is most likely when individuals perceive that the content reaches a large audience (see chapter 2.1.6). Empirically, several studies were able to detect hostile media perceptions (for overviews, Feldman, 2017;Gunther, 2015Gunther, , 2017Krämer, 2016;McLeod et al., 2017;Perloff, 2015). A meta-analysis by Hansen and Kim (2011) showed that the effect size is noteworthy (r = .30) ...
... In this chapter, the consequences of the mentioned (social) media perceptions will be systematized. Therefore, previous systematizations or literature reviews of the consequences of specific (social) media perceptions were reviewed (e.g., Dohle, 2017a;Feldman, 2017;Gunther et al., 2008;Gunther, 2015Gunther, , 2017Perloff, 2015;Tal-Or et al., 2009). ...
... Investigations tend to produce consistent findings among strong partisans who perceive bias in news content, even when the content is presented as balanced stories (K. S. Kim & Pasadeos, 2007). Outcomes of hostile media bias influence perceptions, such increasing polarization of attitudes (Lord et al., 1979) and enhancing distrust in news media (Perloff, 2015). ...
Article
News outlets rely on social media to freely distribute content, offering a venue for users to comment on news. This exposes individuals to user comments prior to reading news articles, which can influence perceptions of news content. A 2 × 2 between-subject experiment (N = 690) tested the hostile media bias theory via the influence of comments seen before viewing a news story on perceptions of bias and credibility. Results show that user comments induce hostile media perceptions.
... Strikingly, this also meant that, at times, our participants perceived a story to be biased toward their own beliefsseemingly in violation of the hostile media effect. That wellsupported theory says that people tend to see neutral media coverage as biased against their position, in favor of the opposing side (Perloff 2015). But Pauletta, 62, a non-profit manager, said the death penalty story seemed tailored toward her political views, against the death penalty, and that worried her. ...
Article
This study investigates how Americans conceive of journalistic processes and how their conceptions clash with the way journalists construct their profession. We do this by interpreting data from five focus groups to explore ways the public understands journalism, through what are called folk theories. We find that participants broadly interpreted what makes a story biased – seeing common journalistic practices, such as adding context to a story, as avenues of bias. We also found that the public’s understanding of common journalistic practices, such as eyewitness interviews and investigative work, is compatible with the journalistic self-conception, but the public may attribute negative intent if they see a story that lacks these characteristics. The data show participants hold high expectations for journalism that journalists may view as unattainable.
... While these studies do not directly connect to perceptions of media bias, we have good reason to believe these attitudes would be affected, as media bias is routinely singled out as the primary reason for unfavorable election outcomes and was explicitly blamed for Hillary Clinton's loss in 2016 (Clinton, 2017;Ladd and Podkul, 2019;Watts and Rothschild, 2017). More generally, attitudes toward the media are shaped by the hostile media phenomenon, meaning that partisans perceive news coverage as hostile to their point of view even when news coverage is neutral (D'Alessio, 2003;Feldman, 2011;Hansen and Kim, 2011;Perloff, 2015;Vallone et al., 1985). The more involved or engaged partisans are with news content and the more intense their partisan preferences, the greater the perceived bias (Hansen and Kim, 2011;Lee, 2005;Oh et al., 2011). ...
Article
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In this paper, we utilize a module from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study to explore how individual perceptions of media bias changed over the course of the 2016 presidential campaign. While previous literature has documented the role of partisan affiliation in perceptions of bias, we know considerably less about how these perceptions change during a presidential election. Consistent with existing theories of attitude change, perceptions of bias polarize with strong Democrats moving toward believing the media were biased against Hillary Clinton (and in favor of Donald Trump) and independent-leaning Republicans moving toward believing the media were biased against Donald Trump. At the end of the 2016 election, more individuals believed the media were biased against their side. These effects were moderated by how much attention individuals paid to the campaign.
... A large body of research has shown this to be true when it comes to news media, whether it is in response to a specific news story (i.e., the "hostile media effect"; see Vallone et al., 1985) or as a generalized perception of media (i.e., "perceived media bias"; see Dalton et al., 1998). Either way, these perceptions are more of a function of individuals' personal predispositions toward media rather than an objective assessment of media content (Perloff, 2015). Furthermore, research shows that generalized perceptions of media bias are on the rise worldwide, and that media trust is on the decline (Edelman Trust Barometer, 2017;Tsfati & Ariely, 2014;World Values Survey, 2015). ...
Article
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This study examines the role that group consciousness plays in driving corrective action. Drawing from an online survey of Latinos in the United States ( N = 588), it tests the relationships among group consciousness, perceived media bias, proattitudinal selective exposure, and political participation. Results show support for a serial mediation model where the relationship between group consciousness and political participation runs through perceptions of media bias and proattitudinal selective exposure. Proattitudinal selective exposure also mediates the relationship between group consciousness and political participation independently. Theoretical contributions to corrective action and the role of minority groups in American politics are discussed.
... Some recent evidence provides support for this idea, showing partisan differences in what springs to mind when encountering the term "fake news" (van der Linden et al. 2020). We also know, however, that people from opposing sides of the political spectrum can paradoxically both view the same news information as biased against their side (Perloff 2015). We might expect, then, that people outside of the political center are most likely to classify news sources in general as fake news. ...
Article
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The 2016 US Presidential campaign saw an explosion in popularity for the term “fake news.” This phenomenon raises interesting questions: Which news sources do people believe are fake, and what do people think “fake news” means? One possibility is that beliefs about the news reflect a bias to disbelieve information that conflicts with existing beliefs and desires. If so, then news sources people consider “fake” might differ according to political affiliation. To test this idea, we asked people to tell us what “fake news” means, and to rate several news sources for the extent to which each provides real news, fake news, and propaganda. We found that political affiliation influenced people’s descriptions and their beliefs about which news sources are “fake.” These results have implications for people’s interpretations of news information and for the extent to which people can be misled by factually incorrect journalism.
... (2) Respondent sample: While our sample approximately resembles the US distribution concerning a dimension important in this study, i.e., political affiliation (cf. [47], [48]), the sample contains selection biases, e.g., since we recruited respondents only on one platform and from only the US. Thus, we cannot conclude findings for other news consumers of countries with systematically different political or media landscapes. ...
Conference Paper
Media bias and its extreme form, fake news, can decisively affect public opinion. Especially when reporting on policy issues, slanted news coverage may strongly influence societal decisions, e.g., in democratic elections. Our paper makes three contributions to address this issue. First, we present a system for bias identification, which combines state-of-the-art methods from natural language understanding. Second, we devise bias-sensitive visualizations to communicate bias in news articles to non-expert news consumers. Third, our main contribution is a large-scale user study that measures bias-awareness in a setting that approximates daily news consumption, e.g., we present respondents with a news overview and individual articles. We not only measure the visualizations' effect on respondents' bias-awareness, but we can also pinpoint the effects on individual components of the visualizations by employing a conjoint design. Our bias-sensitive overviews strongly and significantly increase bias-awareness in respondents. Our study further suggests that our content-driven identification method detects groups of similarly slanted news articles due to substantial biases present in individual news articles. In contrast, the reviewed prior work rather only facilitates the visibility of biases, e.g., by distinguishing left- and right-wing outlets.
... Dieser Glaubwürdigkeitsvorsprung macht nicht-journalistische Quellen für viele Rezipient*innen besonders attraktiv und erhöht die Wahrscheinlichkeit, ihre Inhalte häufiger und intensiver zu nutzen ("selective exposure", Jomini Stroud, 2008). Verstärkt wird dieses Phänomen noch durch den Hostile-Media-Effekt: Rezipient*innen nehmen auch neutrale Artikel als verzerrt entgegen ihrer eigenen Meinung wahr (Perloff, 2015). ...
Book
Instagram ist auf dem Weg, der wichtigste Social-Media-Kanal der Welt zu werden. Dieser Sammelband geht die Forschungslücke im Zusammenspiel von Journalismus und Instagram systematisch und facettenreich an. Autor:innen aus Wissenschaft und Praxis liefern dafür vielfältige Analysen, Strategien und Perspektiven. Wissenschaftliche Verortungen werden ergänzt durch mehrere Fallstudien rund um die journalistische Instagram-Nutzung. Gleichzeitig ermöglichen Praktiker:innen Einblicke auf tägliche Herausforderungen und die Folgen, nicht nur für die Journalist:innen-Ausbildung im Bereich Social Media.
... Ein genuin medienbezogenes Wahrnehmungsphänomen, welches als Auslöser für eine motivierte Informationsselektion und -verarbeitung diskutiert wurde, ist die sog. Hostile Media Perception (HMP)die Tendenz von Anhänger:innen einer (politischen) Position, die mediale Berichterstattung als zur eigenen Position konträr oder feindlich verzerrt wahrzunehmen (für einen Überblick siehe Perloff 2015). So zeigt etwa eine Studie von Borah und Kolleg:innen (2015), dass Leser:innen politischer Blogs mit einer ausgeprägten HMP dazu tendieren, traditionelle Nachrichtenmedien zu vermeiden und selektiv Online-Quellen aufzusuchen, die die eigene Position stützen. ...
Chapter
Das Kapitel gibt einen Überblick über Theorien und Modelle zur Verarbeitung politischer Informationen. Zunächst werden wesentliche Phasen der Informationsverarbeitung skizziert. Es folgt eine Diskussion von Zwei-Prozess-Modellen der Informationsverarbeitung anhand der beiden bedeutsamsten Ansätze, dem Elaboration-Likelihood-Modell und dem Heuristisch-Systematischen Modell. Abschließend wird auf mögliche Verzerrungen bei der Informationsverarbeitung durch Heuristiken und Motivated Reasoning eingegangen. Zu allen Ansätzen werden aktuelle Forschungsfragen mittels ausgewählter Studien illustriert.
... Similar to exposure and attention, our evaluation of news is influenced by predispositions and heuristics. Research into the hostile media effect (HME), for example, consistently shows that political partisans are poor judges of news as they often view neutral news content -content rated as unbiased by nonpartisans -as biased against their views (Gunther, 1988;Perloff, 2015;Vallone et al., 1985). Likewise, the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) highlights the ways in which media cues and heuristics shape processing and thus media effects (Petty and Cacioppo, 1986). ...
Article
Interest in news literacy inside and outside the academy has grown alongside related concerns about the quality of news and information available. Attempts to fully define, explicate and operationalize news literacy, however, are scattered. Drawing on literature across journalism and mass communication, we propose a definition of news literacy that combines knowledge of news production, distribution and consumption with skills that help audiences assert control over their relationship with news. We propose that knowledge and skills should be conceptualized across five domains: context, creation, content, circulation and consumption. This explication offers a clear, concise and cohesive path for research about news literacy, especially empirical testing to evaluate news literacy and its effectiveness in contributing to relevant behaviours. This framework also offers a consistent, yet flexible, approach to measuring news literacy across diverse contexts.
... Dieser Glaubwürdigkeitsvorsprung macht nicht-journalistische Quellen für viele Rezipient*innen besonders attraktiv und erhöht die Wahrscheinlichkeit, ihre Inhalte häufiger und intensiver zu nutzen ("selective exposure", Jomini Stroud, 2008). Verstärkt wird dieses Phänomen noch durch den Hostile-Media-Effekt: Rezipient*innen nehmen auch neutrale Artikel als verzerrt entgegen ihrer eigenen Meinung wahr (Perloff, 2015). ...
Chapter
Der Beitrag widmet sich der Frage, welchen Einfluss der digitale Wandel von Öffentlichkeit auf das Vertrauen in journalistische Medien hat. Er geht insbesondere auf die Rolle Sozialer Netzwerkplattformen ein und skizziert Risiken und Chancen, die aus einem Verlust der Gatekeeper-Rolle des Journalismus entstehen. Abschließend wird diskutiert, wie der Journalismus unter gewandelten Bedingungen Vertrauen gewinnen und erhalten kann und welche Möglichkeiten Soziale Netzwerkplattformen wie Instagram für einen vertrauenssensiblen Online-Journalismus bieten.
... The central claim of HMP is that people with preexisting views on an issue will perceive neutral or balanced mass media content about that issue as biased against their views. Considerable research has advanced HMP theory since its inception (Vallone, 1985; for a review, see Perloff, 2015). Studies have examined the nature and limits of this phenomenon on various groups' perceptions of different mass media and produced robust evidence in support of the theory (Arceneaux, Johnson and Murphy, 2012;Ariyanto, Hornsey & Gallois, 2007;Arpan & Raney, 2003;Choi, Yang and Chang, 2009;Christen, Kannaovakun & Gunther, A. 2002;Eveland & Shah, 2003;Feldman, 2011;Giner-Sorolla & Chaiken, 1994;Gunther & Liebhart, 2006;Hwang, Pan and Sun, 2008;Matheson & Dursun, 2001;Moehler & Singh, 2011;Morris, 2007;Perloff, 1989;Richardson et al., 2008;Schmitt, Gunther and Liebhart, 2004;Tsfati, 2007;Tsfati & J. Cohen, 2005; for a metaanalysis, see Hansen & Kim, 2011). ...
Article
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The deliberative quality of a minipublic often depends on its ability to inform the opinions of a larger public. The Citizens’ Initiative Review (CIR) aims to do so by producing a Citizens’ Statement, which we conceptualize as a deliberative form of mass media. Like any mass media, this Statement can only influence public opinion to the extent that citizens consider it unbiased and credible. Hostile media perceptions often prevent favorable evaluations of media content, but no prior work has considered whether these perceptions could undermine the output of deliberative minipublics. To examine that possibility, we analyze online survey data on Oregon voters’ assessments of two 2014 Citizens’ Statements. Results showed that voters’ evaluations of the Statements were unaffected by hostile media perceptions. Assessments were more favorable when voters had confidence in their knowledge of the CIR’s design, process, and participants. Evaluations also were more favorable for those voters with greater faith in deliberation’s capacity to render considered judgments. We elaborate on these findings in our discussion section and consider their theoretical and practical implications for implementing minipublics and bolstering their deliberative quality.
... In addition to their direct impacts on psychological wellbeing, different components of the acculturation process may also indirectly influence migrants' mental health by shaping their perceptions of hostility in the host or heritage society. Public opinion research has long documented that individual opinion is often positively correlated with their perceptions of what the public thinks about an issue, which is called the projection bias (Perloff, 2015). For example, Gunther and Chia (2001) found that people with more vigorous disapproval of animal experiments feel that others endorse such disdain. ...
Article
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked hostility against Chinese immigrants and sojourners in the U.S. and other countries. Making the situation worse, strong resentment against this group has also emerged in China due to the fear of returnees spreading the disease. Integrating research on acculturation and hostile media perception, we examined how such bilateral hostility along with different acculturation components (i.e., cultural identification, COVID-19-related media use, and individualistic-collectivistic value) influenced U.S.-dwelling Chinese’s psychological well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the results from a two-wave survey assessing the cultural identity and value, COVID-19-related media use, and psychological distress of a group of relatively young and highly educated U.S.-dwelling Chinese (N = 1,256) between March and April 2020, we found that identification with both U.S. and Chinese cultures alleviated immigrants and sojourners’ psychological distress. Further, COVID-19-related media use served as a stressor during the pandemic, and perceived hostility from China led to stronger psychological distress among U.S.-dwelling Chinese.
... A 2016 survey, for example, showed that in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Sweden, on average 28% of respondents thought that the media coverage about refugees and immigration was too positive, while exactly the same share on average thought that it was too negative (YouGov, 2016). This might be viewed as an indication that people's perceptions of the media discourse about immigration are shaped by the hostile media phenomenon, according to which citizens -in particular those with strong views -have a tendency to perceive the media as biased against their own views (Hansen & Kim, 2011;Perloff, 2015). ...
... Andererseits könnten auch Meinungen, die zu der des Rezipienten gänzlich konträr sind, besondere Aufmerksamkeit hervorrufen, im Sinne eines "Aufregers über die einseitige Berichterstattung" (zum "Hostile Media Effect" vgl. Perloff, 2015;Vallone et al., 1985). Anders verhält es sich bei der Einstellung, die Regierung tue zu wenig für die sozial Schwächeren. ...
... Comparative research also shows that partisans in general tend to have less trust in news overall but more trust in the news they use (Suiter & Fletcher, 2020). The mechanism might be that those who are more politically involved have a stronger tendency to be influenced by the hostile media effect, referring to the perception that the media is biased against their side in a political conflict (Perloff, 2015). Such perceptions naturally influence the extent to which people trust the media. ...
... In open responses, participants mentioned perceptions of bias as the main reason. Other work has shown that perceptions of bias are particularly prevalent among partisans engaged in social conflicts (Perloff, 2015). Researchers have also established a relationship between partisans' HMP and their media trust: less trust in news media by individuals corresponds to a higher likelihood that they will perceive media as hostile towards their own opinions (Choi et al., 2009;Tsfati & Cohen, 2005). ...
Article
Research on trust in media is on the rise. However, communication scholars have addressed related concepts (e.g. media credibility) for decades, and these concepts have often been used interchangeably with that of trust. This practice has resulted in a confusing field of research, with studies using different labels and drawing on various theoretical backgrounds. This article aims to improve conceptual clarity. On the basis of a literature review, we first propose a broad conceptualization of trust in news media and disentangle it from related concepts. Second, we develop a framework that identifies individual- and societal-level causes and consequences of trust in various media objects. Third, we review the current state of research on social, political, and media-related correlates of trust.
... Continuous exposure to violence has led to heightened levels of distress and threat perception in both populations, as well as adherence to an ethos of conflict (Al-Krenawi et al., 2009;Canetti-Nisim et al., 2009). Due to the conflict, the media tend to emphasize the justice of "our" side and the viciousness of "the enemy" (Lowenstein-Barkai, 2021), therefore, Israeli media coverage of these groups is hostile and biased in character, an attitude that is difficult to change (Perloff, 2015). Some NIP are daily labor migrants who come into Israel for daily work and in the evening return to their homes located in non-Israeli territory. ...
Article
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of perceived threat from asylum seekers in EU (EUAS) on attitudes toward Israeli local outgroups, controlling for face to-face interaction with the latter. The study was conducted using an online survey of 1311 Israeli Jews. Realistic threat from EUAS was negatively related to positive attitudes toward three local outgroups, while the association between symbolic threat from EUAS and attitudes toward the local outgroups was insignificant. The effect of distant realistic threat was more pronounced than the effect of symbolic threat and the effect of face-to-face contact.
... Numerous HME studies have demonstrated that individuals with opposing views evaluate the same news content differently depending on whether the slant of news content is consistent or inconsistent with their own opinion (Perloff, 2015). Those who are highly involved with a controversial issue want to maintain their own attitude toward that issue even when they encounter counter-attitudinal news content (Gunther, 1992). ...
Article
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This study explored Facebook users’ hostile perceptions of shared news content and its relationship with their political participation. This study conducted an online experiment with a 3 (news slant: pro-attitudinal, neutral, counter-attitudinal) × 3 (news sharer: in-group, neutral, out-group) between-subjects design. This experiment was administered in the context of the abortion issue in South Korea. Consistent with the hostile media effect, the news slant (pro-attitudinal, counter-attitudinal) of shared news content was found to influence Facebook users’ hostile perceptions of shared news content. Out-group sharers also significantly affected their hostile perceptions of shared news content. However, in-group sharers did not. Furthermore, the effect of Facebook users’ hostile perceptions of shared news content on their willingness for political participation was moderated by their prior minority perception in the general society. Only for Facebook users with high levels of prior minority perception in the general society, their hostile perceptions of shared news content appeared to encourage their political engagement. The implications of these findings were discussed.
Article
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Two experiments investigated when and how user comments on news websites affect individuals’ personal opinion. In Study 1 (N = 596), opinion-reinforcing (vs. opinion-challenging) user comments led participants to perceive both (a) public opinion and (b) the news tone to be more congenial to their own position, which induced opinion polarization. When user comments were presented within the news article as direct quotes, however, their influence on perceived public opinion was attenuated, with no corresponding change for perceived news position. Poorer message recall partly accounted for the reduced influence of quoted (vs. as-is) comments, but perceived manipulability did not. In Study 2 (N = 261), those with higher need for cognition (NFC) were more likely to infer public opinion from the user comments in their original form than those quoted in the news, but the opposite was true for low NFCs. Results suggest that neither priming nor consensus heuristic fully explain the effects of user comments on personal opinion.
Article
Building on research on selective exposure, hostile media perceptions, and presumed media influence, this study explores what citizens believe about their political rivals’ news habits and introduces the idea of perceived selective exposure: the extent to which citizens believe their political opponents curate media diets of like-minded political news. Results from a national survey of voters (N = 657) show that during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, voters disagreed about the extent to which prominent news sources favored Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. The more undesirably biased voters considered a source, the more news they assumed their political rivals received from that source. This perceived selectivity was consequential: A belief that others’ news habits were weighted toward like-minded media was linked to a belief that others’ election news choices had reinforced their attitudes. Partisans think their political rivals are selecting biased news sources that bolster extremity.
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The present study compared participants’ evaluations of their own conflict with their evaluation of another conflict. These evaluations were examined through the prism of the ideological ethos of conflict (EOC), which was seen as the major contributing factor in the development of the biased perceptions, divergent understandings, and emotional responses previously observed among groups in conflict. The participants in the study were students: Protestants and Catholics from Northern Ireland, Jews and Palestinians from Israel, and an additional group of Swiss students. They were presented with four scenarios: Two scenarios presented separately the views of Catholics and Protestants about the conflict in Northern Ireland and two presented the views of Jews and Palestinians about the conflict in the Middle East. They were followed by a questionnaire that assessed emotional responses, attributions, and conflict assessment. Participants demonstrated greater bias when evaluating their own conflicts than the other one, as a function of their level of adherence to the ethos of their conflict. The results showed consistently, and without exception, that individual’s ratings of their own conflict were significantly associated with their level of EOC’s acceptance as an ideology, but responses to another conflict were not. They imply that the EOC serves as a lens that is used to judge one’s own conflict in a biased way.
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Since Eveland and Shah (2003) published their seminal study on the impact of social networks on media bias perceptions in the US, little has been researched about the interpersonal antecedents of hostile media perceptions. In this study we address this gap by investigating the role of safe, or like-minded, political discussions on individuals’ likelihood to perceive media as hostile. We use survey data from more than 5,000 individuals in Germany. Our findings reveal that like-minded discussions increase one’s likelihood to perceive media as hostile; yet, only among those more politically engaged and ideologically on the left. The significance and theoretical implications of the results are discussed in the concluding section.
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News organizations increasingly use Facebook to expand their reach and foster audience engagement. However, this free platform exposes news audiences to user comments before accessing and reading news articles. This exposure shapes the visible opinion climate and has the potential to influence readers. Through the application of the hostile media bias hypothesis, the influence of Facebook comments on COVID-19 related news articles and a knowledge-based assessment on perceptions of news bias and credibility are tested using a nationwide sample of Facebook users ( N = 450). Findings show that user comments enhance negative perceptions of bias and diminish perceptions of favorability. The ability for knowledge-based assessments to alleviate this negative influence may induce reactance and needs further investigation.
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Partisans tend to view the news as biased against them, an effect believed to be driven in part by social identity. As Twitter comments contain cues that signal group identity, this preregistered study examines the effects of comment identity on hostile media perception (HMP). Across two experiments comment identity was manipulated. Results were mixed. Outgroup comments amplified HMP, moderated by audience position; yet this finding was not replicated. Second, audience position accounted for differences in HMP, which runs counter to the original conceptualization. Results are discussed concerning self-categorization and biased perception of news media.
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Research on hostile media perception (HMP) has suggested that both news slants and partisan source cues influence individuals’ perception of news bias. Yet, relatively little attention has been paid to the possibility that the two message features may interact. Extending the literature on HMP, the present experiment investigates the content-source interaction in the context of President Trump’s policy on immigration, with two audience characteristics as potential moderators: political ideology strength (PIS) and need for cognition (NFC). Results show that (1) the effect of news slants on HMP is greater when the news is from an in-group source and (2) such interaction is more pronounced for those with higher levels of PIS and lower levels of NFC. Implications for our understanding of HMP and for public opinion in an increasingly fragmented and partisan media environment will be discussed.
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Previous research in the domain of attitude change has described 2 primary dimensions of thinking that impact persuasion processes and outcomes: the extent (amount) of thinking and the direction (valence) of issue-relevant thought. The authors examined the possibility that another, more meta-cognitive aspect of thinking is also important - the degree of confidence people have in their own thoughts. Four studies test the notion that thought confidence affects the extent of persuasion. When positive thoughts dominate in response to a message, increasing confidence in those thoughts increases persuasion, but when negative thoughts dominate, increasing confidence decreases persuasion. In addition, using self-reported and manipulated thought confidence in separate studies, the authors provide evidence that the magnitude of the attitude-thought relationship depends on the confidence people have in their thoughts. Finally, the authors also show that these self-validation effects are most likely in situations that foster high amounts of information processing activity.
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In this article, we examine the notion that perceptions of strong influence of biased media coverage may indirectly lead to an increased willingness to resort to violent protest. We test this idea on a sample of Jewish settlers in the Gaza Strip (N = 413), in the dramatic context of a Likud party vote on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to pull out from the Gaza Strip, which includes a proposed evacuation of the settlers from their homes. Findings show that perceptions of influence of biased media coverage of the settlements on Israeli public opinion were associated with perceptions of the negative image of the settlements in Israeli public opinion, which in turn had an impact on the justification of violent resistance to the likely evacuation. The perceived image of the settlements, resulting from presumed media influence, also affected settlers' political inefficacy and their thoughts about residential mobility.
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The corrective action hypothesis predicts that hostile media perceptions and presumed media influence will be positively related to expressive political behaviors. According to this hypothesis, the presumed influence of biased media makes people attempt to “correct” perceived “wrongs” by voicing their own opinions in the public sphere. This study predicts that people with higher levels of hostile media perceptions and presumed media influence will talk politics more often and will seek out a wider array of viewpoints in political conversation. Analysis of survey data from a national representative sample of adults in Colombia largely supports these hypotheses, and also shows that presumed media influence mediates the relationship between hostile media perceptions and political talk diversity.
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In this theoretical article, we introduce the Differential Susceptibility to Media Effects Model (DSMM), a new, integrative model to improve our understanding of media effects. The DSMM organizes, integrates, and extends the insights developed in earlier microlevel media-effects theories. It distinguishes 3 types of susceptibility to media effects: dispositional, developmental, and social susceptibility. Using the analogy of a mixing console, the DSMM proposes 3 media response states that mediate media effects: cognitive, emotional, and excitative. The assumptions on which the DSMM is based together explain (a) why some individuals are more highly susceptible to media effects than others, (b) how and why media influence those individuals, and (c) how media effects can be enhanced or counteracted.
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The American electorate is characterized by political polarization, and especially by increasingly negative affective responses toward opposing party members. To what extent might this be attributed to exposure to information reinforcing individuals' partisan identity versus information representing the views of partisan opponents? And is this a uniquely American phenomenon? This study uses survey data collected immediately following recent national elections in two countries, the United States and Israel, to address these questions. Results across the two nations are generally consistent, and indicate that pro- and counterattitudinal information exposure has distinct influences on perceptions of and attitudes toward members of opposing parties, despite numerous cross-cultural differences. We discuss implications in light of recent evidence about partisans' tendency to engage in selective exposure.
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This study examined the effects of embedding and framing online news stories in social media contexts on perceived message influence and third-person effects (3PE). 88 undergraduates at a Northeastern U.S. university participated in an online experiment in which they evaluated news stories posted on Facebook. A 4 x 2 mixed experimental design was used with the between-subject variables of viewing condition (no Facebook frame, neutral Facebook, positive Facebook evaluation, and negative Facebook evaluation) and the within-subjects factor of story relevance (Low, High). Results indicate that perceptions of personal influence increase in social media contexts for more personally relevant stories. These results are consistent with the Differential Impact Hypothesis.
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People have a basic need to maintain the integrity of the self, a global sense of personal adequacy. Events that threaten self-integrity arouse stress and self-protective defenses that can hamper performance and growth. However, an intervention known as self-affirmation can curb these negative outcomes. Self-affirmation interventions typically have people write about core personal values. The interventions bring about a more expansive view of the self and its resources, weakening the implications of a threat for personal integrity. Timely affirmations have been shown to improve education, health, and relationship outcomes, with benefits that sometimes persist for months and years. Like other interventions and experiences, self-affirmations can have lasting benefits when they touch off a cycle of adaptive potential, a positive feedback loop between the self-system and the social system that propagates adaptive outcomes over time. The present review highlights both connections with other disciplines and lessons for a social psychological understanding of intervention and change.
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Most studies of news bias judgments and news consumption do not consider the likely emotional responses to news content, and theoretical arguments suggest that approach emotions, like anger, may actually motivate more, not less, news consumption. An experiment found support for hypotheses that bias judgments would positively correlate with anger responses, and anger responses would associate not only with greater criticism of the reporter but also more, rather than less, interest in additional news stories containing both identity-threatening and identity-bolstering content.
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This study investigates how HMP influences partisans' advocacy behaviors and examines how type of involvement affects HMP and advocacy groups' advocacy behaviors. Results suggest that HMP induces advocacy groups to prefer more aggressive advocacy strategies, such as attacking counterparts, and that outcome-relevant involvement is positively related to preference for both attacking and negotiation strategies. The results provide weak evidence that value-relevant involvement is negatively related to negotiation. There was no differential effect of each involvement type on HMP.
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The hostile media effect (HME) refers to a process by which highly involved audiences tend to perceive media coverage as biased against their own views. In this process, issue involvement is usually treated as a cognitive construct, that is, as the extent to which the attitudinal issue under consideration is of personal importance. Although Vallone, Ross, and Lepper raised the issue of affective involvement in their seminal study, hardly any research has tried to disentangle the effects of cognitive and affective involvement. Thus, the aim of this article is to clarify whether the HME is triggered by cognitive and/or affective involvement. Data from three survey studies demonstrate that affective involvement—measured as emotional arousal or as the experience of concrete emotions—can explain the HME over and beyond cognitive involvement. Implications of these findings for future HME research are discussed.
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This approach conceptualizes the hostile media effect (HME) as an intergroup phenomenon. Two empirical studies, one quasi-experimental and one experimental, examine the HME in the context of the abortion debate. Both studies show that ingroup identification and group status qualify the HME. Pro-choice and pro-life group members perceived an identical newspaper article as biased against their own viewpoint only if they considered their ingroup to have a lower status in society than the outgroup. In addition, only group members with a stronger ingroup identification showed a HME, particularly because of self-investment components of ingroup identification. Taken together, the findings confirm the important influence of ingroup status and ingroup identification on the HME.
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The current debate over the extent of polarization in the American mass public focuses on the extent to which partisans' policy preferences have moved. Whereas "maximalists" claim that partisans' views on policies have become more extreme over time (Abramowitz 2010), "minimalists" (Fiorina and Abrams 2009) contend that the majority of Americans remain centrist, and that what little centrifugal movement has occurred reflects sorting, i.e., the increased association between partisanship and ideology. We argue in favor of an alternative definition of polarization, based on the classic concept of social distance (Bogardus 1947). Using data from a variety of sources, we demonstrate that both Republicans and Democrats increasingly dislike, even loathe, their opponents. We also find that partisan affect is inconsistently (and perhaps artifactually) founded in policy attitudes. The more plausible account lies in the nature of political campaigns; exposure to messages attacking the out-group reinforces partisans' biased views of their opponents.
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One recent and conspicuous change in the U.S. media landscape has been the shift toward more markedly partisan news content. At the same time, data suggest that the media audience has become more polarized across a wide array of controversial and politicized issues. Recruiting from a group of highly polarized opponents of childhood vaccinations, this study employed a 3 (content bias) × 2 (partisan vs. neutral participants) × 2 (information source) experimental design to examine audience perceptions of information bias. The data supported an expected hostile media perception in the case of “fair and balanced” information, but different patterns in the other bias conditions suggest that content variables can sometimes disarm defensive processing.
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“Professor Gastil has been a leading voice in the deliberative democracy movement for the last 15 years, and with this book he has created a wonderful resource that adeptly captures the broad, valuable work being done both inside and outside academia concerning public deliberation and political communication. I hope this book will help spark a whole new generation of courses focused on this critical topic.” –Martín Carcasson, Colorado State University The act of deliberation is the act of reflecting carefully on a matter and weighing the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to a problem. It aims to arrive at a decision or judgment based not only on facts and data but also on values, emotions, and other less technical considerations. Though a solitary individual can deliberate, it more commonly means making decisions together, as a small group, an organization, or a nation. Political Communication and Deliberation takes a unique approach to the field of political communication by viewing key concepts and research through the lens of deliberative democratic theory. This is the first text to argue that communication is central to democratic self-governance primarily because of its potential to facilitate public deliberation. Thus, it offers political communication instructors a new perspective on familiar topics, and it provides those teaching courses on political deliberation with their first central textbook. This text offers students practical theory and experience, teaching them skills and giving them a more direct understanding of the various subtopics in public communication. Companion Web site! A dedicated Web site at inventories everything that might be useful for instructors using Political Communication and Deliberation in their courses. Syllabi suggestions show how to use the book when teaching on a semester - or a quarter-long course, as well as a set of classroom exercises and larger projects that have been used in previous courses. Also, a wiki and forum let instructors exchange teaching ideas, links, and new content to supplement each chapter.
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Defending the Holy Land is the most comprehensive analysis to date of Israel's national security and foreign policy, from the inception of the State of Israel to the present. Author Zeev Maoz's unique double perspective, as both an expert on the Israeli security establishment and esteemed scholar of Mideast politics, enables him to describe in harrowing detail the tragic recklessness and self-made traps that pervade the history of Israeli security operations and foreign policy. Most of the wars in which Israel was involved, Maoz shows, were entirely avoidable, the result of deliberate Israeli aggression, flawed decision-making, and misguided conflict management strategies. None, with the possible exception of the 1948 War of Independence, were what Israelis call "wars of necessity." They were all wars of choice-or, worse, folly. Demonstrating that Israel's national security policy rested on the shaky pairing of a trigger-happy approach to the use of force with a hesitant and reactive peace diplomacy, Defending the Holy Land recounts in minute-by-minute detail how the ascendancy of Israel's security establishment over its foreign policy apparatus led to unnecessary wars and missed opportunites for peace. A scathing and brilliant revisionist history, Defending the Holy Land calls for sweeping reform of Israel's foreign policy and national security establishments. This book will fundamentally transform the way readers think about Israel's troubled history.
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As recently as the early 1970s, the news media was one of the most respected institutions in the United States. Yet by the 1990s, this trust had all but evaporated. Why has confidence in the press declined so dramatically over the past 40 years? And has this change shaped the public's political behavior? This book examines waning public trust in the institutional news media within the context of the American political system and looks at how this lack of confidence has altered the ways people acquire political information and form electoral preferences. Jonathan Ladd argues that in the 1950s, '60s, and early '70s, competition in American party politics and the media industry reached historic lows. When competition later intensified in both of these realms, the public's distrust of the institutional media grew, leading the public to resist the mainstream press's information about policy outcomes and turn toward alternative partisan media outlets. As a result, public beliefs and voting behavior are now increasingly shaped by partisan predispositions. Ladd contends that it is not realistic or desirable to suppress party and media competition to the levels of the mid-twentieth century; rather, in the contemporary media environment, new ways to augment the public's knowledgeability and responsiveness must be explored. Drawing on historical evidence, experiments, and public opinion surveys, this book shows that in a world of endless news sources, citizens' trust in institutional media is more important than ever before.
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Fox News, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Rush Limbaugh Show, National Public Radio-a list of available political media sources could continue without any apparent end. This book investigates how people navigate these choices. It asks whether people are using media sources that express political views matching their own, a behavior known as partisan selective exposure. By looking at newspaper, cable news, news magazine, talk radio, and political website use, this book offers a look to-date at the extent to which partisanship influences our media selections. Using data from numerous surveys and experiments, the results provide broad evidence about the connection between partisanship and news choices. This book also examines who seeks out likeminded media and why they do it. Perceptions of partisan biases in the media vary-sources that seem quite biased to some don't seem so biased to others. These perceptual differences provide insight into why some people select politically likeminded media-a phenomenon that is democratically consequential. On one hand, citizens may become increasingly divided from using media that coheres with their political beliefs. In this way, partisan selective exposure may result in a more fragmented and polarized public. On the other hand, partisan selective exposure may encourage participation and understanding. Likeminded partisan information may inspire citizens to participate in politics and help them to organize their political thinking. But, ultimately, the partisan use of niche news has some troubling effects. It is vital that we think carefully about the implications both for the conduct of media research and, more broadly, for the progress of democracy.
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To govern in a democracy, political leaders have to compromise. When they do not, the result is political paralysis-dramatically demonstrated by the gridlock in Congress in recent years. In The Spirit of Compromise, eminent political thinkers Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson show why compromise is so important, what stands in the way of achieving it, and how citizens can make defensible compromises more likely. They urge politicians to focus less on campaigning and more on governing. In a new preface, the authors reflect on the state of compromise in Congress since the book's initial publication. Calling for greater cooperation in contemporary politics, The Spirit of Compromise will interest everyone who cares about making government work better for the good of all.
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Partisan groups, highly important actors in public discourse and the democratic process, appear to see mass media content as biased against their own point of view. Although this hostile media effect has been well documented in recent research, little is understood about the mechanisms that might explain it. Three processes have been proposed: (a) selective recall, in which partisans preferentially remember aspects of content hostile to their own side; (b) selective categorization, in which opposing partisans assign different valences to the same content, and (c) different standards, in which opposing partisans agree on content but see information favoring the other side as invalid or irrelevant. Using new field-experiment tests with groups of partisans who either supported (n = 87) or opposed (n = 63) the use of genetically modified/foods, we found evidence of selective categorization and different standards generally. However, only selective categorization appeared to explain the hostile media effect.
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This field experiment focused on perceived public opinion about the use of primates in laboratory research. We used this contentious issue to examine the simultaneous effects of three hypothetical ideas—on partisan perceptions of public opinion. Our data supported the projection hypothesis but also confirmed that partisans on each side of the issue judged news articles to be biased in a disagreeable direction relative to judgments of those on the other side. The perception of relatively disagreeable media bias, in turn, influenced perceptions of public opinion. Results supported the hypothesis that people make inferences about the climate of opinion based on their reading of the news, especially the perceived slant of that news.
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The hostile media perception, the tendency for partisans to judge mass media coverage as unfavorable to their own point of view, has been vividly demonstrated but not well explained. This contrast bias is intriguing because it appears to contradict a robust literature on assimilation biases-the tendency to find information more supportive, rather than more opposed, to one's own position. We set out to explore a theoretical basis for the hostile media perception that would reconcile it with assimilation biases. To do so, we exposed partisans from opposing camps on the genetically modified foods issue to identical information presented in either a mass media or a student essay context. Consistent with the hypotheses, partisans saw the information as disagreeably biased in a news story format. In student-essay format, however, the hostile media perception disappeared, and there was some evidence of biased assimilation. In addition, content evaluations based on perceived influence on oneself vs. influence on a broader audience suggested that the hostile media perception may be explained by perceived reach of the information source.
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This study demonstrates that third-person perceptions regarding the influence of media coverage of peripheral towns indirectly affect the desire to consider moving. It is argued that regardless of whether people's perceptions of where they live are really shaped by media coverage, if people believe others are affected by this coverage more than they are, they are more likely to consider relocation. We investigated whether the perceived stigmatization of peripheral development towns in Israel has an impact on the desire of their residents to stay or leave, over and above the disaffection with actual living conditions in these communities. Using structural equation modeling (N = 472), we show that third-person estimations indeed influence both perceptions and behavioral intentions.
Article
This study explores the effects of personal opinion and perceived media content on individuals' assessments of public opinion, as well as the curious phenomenon that, although people perceive public agreement with their own point of view, they tend to see press coverage as disagreeable. One hypothesis, based on theories of projection of personal opinion, predicts that people will see public opinion as much like their own, but a contrary outcome is suggested by 2 interrelated hypotheses, the hostile media effect and the persuasive press inference. Data were collected on 4 issues from a large, representative national sample and provided evidence for all 3 effects. Projection received the most consistent support, but findings indicate that this assimilation effect can be substantially offset by media coverage seen as both disagreeable and influential.
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Focusing on the milestone 2008 U.S. Presidential Election, this study explores how perceived impact of polls is influenced by one's social comparison groups and perception of media hostility. Results, using survey data of 541 respondents, show that respondents perceived others as more vulnerable than themselves to the influence of election polls. Even though all of the published polls consistently indicated Obama's lead, some supporters of Obama and opponents of McCain reported that the polls were in favor of McCain. Most importantly, the third-person perception and the perceived poll bias were found to be associated with voters' attitudes toward restrictions on election polls and their intention to engage in campaign discourse. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The World Association.
Article
Since the birth of the Jewish state in 1948, hundreds of commentaries on media coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict have been driven by a desire to demonstrate unfair media bias-either against Israel or against the Arab states. This paper presents a brief overview of these articles; it differs from prior literature reviews inasmuch as it focuses upon the charges of partisan critics. The paper's goals are (1) to review, categorize, and evaluate these accusations, (2) to distinguish between the normative, conceptual, and empirical issues involved in judgments of media bias, and (3) to suggest an overall vantage point from which we may most usefully view the debate over media unfairness with regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Among other things, the paper argues that: 1. The media ought not rely upon "evenhandedness," "balanced content," or "middle-of-the-road politics" as guidelines for coverage of the conflict. 2. "Scientific," content analytic studies of media bias have obscured the centrality of values and political orientations in judgments of unfair coverage. 3. While the media do have an obligation to adhere to certain journalistic norms and standards, it is difficult-if not impossible-to invoke these norms without making normative and conceptual judgments. 4. Structural constraints predispose the mass media toward certain types of coverage. Sometimes, limitations in media capabilities produce coverage favorable to Israel and sometimes they produce coverage favorable to the Arabs. 5. Judgments of media bias rest upon three social psychological processes: a general, cognitive confirmatory bias in judging evidence, a tendency for deeply involved partisans to have a wide latitude of rejection, and a tendency for partisans to perceive (and misperceive) media stimuli in accordance with their overall views. 6. Media criticism may also be understood as a partisan, political tool.
Article
Can partisan media (in particular, partisan TV news) polarize viewers? I outline a set of hypotheses to explain the conditions under which partisan media will increase attitudinal polarization. I use original experiments to test this theory, and find that like-minded messages do have a strong polarizing effect on viewers' attitudes. I also show that cross-cutting messages have, on average, little effect on attitudes, but that they can have strongly polarizing or moderating effects for voters with particular traits. I provide evidence supporting one of the primary hypothesized mechanisms, and also show their duration outside of the lab. I draw on experimental techniques from biomedical studies to show how viewer's preferences for watching partisan media shape these effects. I conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for both theories of media effects and political behavior more broadly. + The author thanks Daniella Lejitneker and the staff of the Wharton Behavioral Lab for help implementing experiment 1 in the paper. Thanks also to Pope, and participants at the MIT American Politics Conference for comments, and to the School of Arts and Sciences and the Vice-Provost for Research at the University of Pennsylvania for funding these experiments. Any remaining errors are my own. The supplemental data with details on the experiments is available upon request from the author.
Article
This book was written by a "strategist," as described by the author, as against the "linear" approach based on documents, which, in his view, is common to historians. The main thesis of this book is that Israel's foreign and security policies were, and still are, caught between two poles: that of unwarranted paranoia, and that of unjustified arrogance. The criticisms of both policies are not new, regardless of their various forms and contents, and some were born with Israel itself. Yet the author did not feel obliged to add to previous critical opinions—many among them politically inspired—any new data, anchored in serious archival research, done in the newly opened American, British, French, German, Israeli, and former Soviet primary sources (I acknowledge that primary Arab sources are usually unavailable). Moreover, the author declares at the opening of his book that historical research is not necessary in order to offer "strategic," i.e., value-bound, advice or a "critical" analysis of Israel's problems, even though he engages in most parts of the book in historical issues, already much debated, pertaining to the same problems. As a "strategist," the author feels free to find evidence for his "critical" analysis wherever he can find it, though he avoids archival research, but his information on Israel's foreign policy decisions and Israel's wars was is based upon secondary sources. Several among them, such as Avi Shlaim, Motti Golani, Tom Segev, and others, are criticized for ideological bias or missing facts, but they are clear-cut "histories" used by a "strategist" for his own purposes. Several other works used by him, including their methodology, were published more than three decades ago, when "perceptions" attributed to Israel's policy makers substituted for the missing primary sources, or indeed seemed to IR experts to be an analytical tool replacing them almost altogether. The necessary givens of Israel's domestic political system, based as it is on multi-party coalitions, elected by a proportional ballot, were mentioned, but hardly connected to the strategic-political developments around it; we learn about them by using both newly opened and older primary sources. The analyses of Arab sources—all of them secondary—would have benefited from either the knowledge of Arabic or some expertise in using authorized translations. The use of the late Malcolm Kerr's Arab Cold War (Kerr was a distinguished "Arabist," who had declared President Sadat's visit to Jerusalem and the ensuing peace process between Israel and Egypt "a betrayal of the Arab cause" and Israel as the factor which prevented the Arabs from pursuing normal national development) may be a tribute to Professor Kerr's memory, after his death at Hezbollah's hand while serving as President of the American University in Beirut, simply because he was an American. The author's contempt for "historical" research leads him, to begin with, to several, surprising observations, which are "historical" all the same, among them that "Israel is by far [reviewer's italics added] the most conflict-prone state in modern history." One need only think of Prussia-Germany, starting with Frederick the Great, all the way through the Danish, the Austrian, and the French Wars, to WWI and WWII, with the millions who died as a result of them, or of revolutionary France, the Napoleonic wars, or France's colonial wars before and after its defeat in 1870, in order to criticize our "critical" author for simple, and yet arrogant ignorance, which might have been avoided if his historical—comparative—knowledge had been acquired first. Yet his treatment of Israel's wars is in many cases totally, or almost totally, the result of his pre-conceived "criticism." A major theme in the author's discussion of Israel's security policy is its nuclear program, which was David Ben-Gurion's main aim thanks to Israel's alliance with France in the Sinai Campaign—a central explanation for that war which the author failed to appreciate—but he further fails to use newly opened Soviet records, explaining the Six Day War of 1967 in terms of the Kremlin's desire to prevent Israel from completing its nuclear program, medium range missiles included, by provoking...
Article
The hostile media effect is a phenomenon in which partisans on both sides of an issue perceive neutral media reports to be biased against their side. Three experiments were performed to test a self-categorization explanation. In Experiment 1, the effect was amplified when partisan identity was salient and attenuated when a shared identity was salient. In Experiment 2, the effect manifested when the media source was an outgroup, but not an ingroup. In Experiment 3, an attack on Democrats was perceived as less biased when attributed to a Democrat than when attributed to a Republican. The effects in Experiments 2 and 3 were amplified by partisanship. The findings are consistent with self-categorization theory and difficult to reconcile with other explanations.
Article
This paper seeks to historicize Twitter within a longer historical framework of diaries to better understand Twitter and broader communication practices and patterns. Based on a review of historical literature regarding 18th and 19th century diaries, we created a content analysis coding scheme to analyze a random sample of publicly available Twitter messages according to themes in the diaries. Findings suggest commentary and accounting styles are the most popular narrative styles on Twitter. Despite important differences between the historical diaries and Twitter, this analysis reveals long‐standing social needs to account, reflect, communicate, and share with others using media of the times.
Article
This study, using survey data (N = 529), examined perceived immigration “threat,” subjective knowledge, support for punitive and assimilative immigration policies, and opinions about media coverage effects. Perceived threat was not related to a third-person effect; however, perceived threat of immigrants was related to support for punitive immigration policies, and a strong “hostile media perception” was confirmed. There was a significant belief among respondents that others would view immigration negatively, if only media were not biased in favor of immigration. Internet use, age, race, and education predicted threat perception; perceived threat, perceived favorableness of coverage, and daily newspaper reading predicted presumed influence of news coverage.
Article
Previous research has consistently documented a hostile media effect in which people see bias in balanced reporting on political controversies. In the contemporary fragmented media environment, partisan news outlets intentionally report political news from ideological perspectives, raising the possibility that ideologically biased news may cause viewers to become increasingly suspicious of and antagonistic toward news media—which we call oppositional media hostility. However, the fragmented media environment also gives television viewers ample opportunities to tune out news outlets with which they disagree as well as the news altogether, and this should moderate oppositional media hostility. We investigate the effects of partisan news shows on media perceptions across six laboratory-based experiments. We find that counterattitudinal news programming is more likely to induce hostile media perceptions than proattitudinal programming, but that the presence of choice blunts oppositional media hostility. We explore possible mechanisms that underlie the moderating effects of selective exposure.
Article
Partisan groups, highly important actors in public discourse and the democratic process, appear to see mass media content as biased against their own point of view. Although this hostile media effect has been well documented in recent research, little is understood about the mechanisms that might explain it. Three processes have been proposed: (a) selective recall, in which partisans preferentially remember aspects of content hostile to their own side; (b) selective categorization, in which opposing partisans assign different valences to the same content; and (c) different standards, in which opposing partisans agree on content but see information favoring the other side as invalid or irrelevant. Using new field-experiment tests with groups of partisans who either supported (n = 87) or opposed (n = 63) the use of genetically modified foods, we found evidence of selective categorization and different standards generally. However, only selective categorization appeared to explain the hostile media effect.
Article
Political parties play a vital role in democracies by linking citizens to their representatives. Nonetheless, a longstanding concern is that partisan identification slants decision-making. Citizens may support (oppose) policies that they would otherwise oppose (support) in the absence of an endorsement from a political party—this is due in large part to what is called partisan motivated reasoning where individuals interpret information through the lens of their party commitment. We explore partisan motivated reasoning in a survey experiment focusing on support for an energy law. We identify two politically relevant factors that condition partisan motivated reasoning: (1) an explicit inducement to form an “accurate” opinion, and (2) cross-partisan, but not consensus, bipartisan support for the law. We further provide evidence of how partisan motivated reasoning works psychologically and affects opinion strength. We conclude by discussing the implications of our results for understanding opinion formation and the overall quality of citizens’ opinions.
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This study focused on media coverage of a controversial issue—the use of primates in laboratory research—to examine pluralistic ignorance, the potential for public misjudgment of public opinion. We hypothesized that people on both sides of the issue would find news coverage relatively disagreeable to their own point of view (the relative hostile media perception). We also expected to find that perceived public opinion would be influenced by personal opinions (the projection bias) and by perceived news slant (the persuasive press inference) and that, because of the hostile media perception, these latter two factors would push perceived public opinion in contrary directions. Data from a national probability sample (N=402) indicated support for all three hypotheses. In addition, along with an aggregate perception of unfavorable news coverage we found that people substantially overestimated public opposition to the use of primates in research. The results suggest that perceptions of the slant of press coverage can predict collective misjudgments of public opinion.
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Hostile media perception (HMP) is a phenomenon showing the significance of individual factors in evaluation of media content. Extending theoretical understanding of HMP, this study has two purposes: (a) to examine the roles of different types of involvement in hostile media effect (HME), that is, value-relevant and outcome-relevant involvement, and (b) to explore relationships between HMP and other media-related perceptions, such as congruency of perceived media influence, media skepticism, and perceived opinion climate. Data were collected from college students in South Korea. Results suggest that value-relevant involvement, rather than outcome-relevant involvement, is a critical predictor of HMP in the context of news coverage of the National Security Law in Korea. HMP also was a significant predictor of congruency of presumed media influence, which in turn predicted perceived opinion climate.