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Partisan news versus party cues: the effect of cross-cutting party and partisan network cues on polarization and persuasion

Ozer, Adam and Wright, Jamie (2022) Partisan news versus party cues: the effect of cross-cutting party and partisan network cues on polarization and persuasion. Research and Politics, 9 (1). ISSN 2053-1680

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Identification Number: 10.1177/20531680221075455

Abstract

The pervasiveness of partisan media and the 24/7 news cycle allow ample opportunity for partisan-motivated reasoning and selective exposure. Nonetheless, individuals still frequently encounter out-party media outlets and expert pundits through mainstream news and social media. We seek to examine the effects of cross-cutting partisan outlet cues (e.g. Fox News, MSNBC) and direct party cues (e.g. Republican, Democrat) on citizens’ perceptions of ideology, source credibility, and news consumption. Using an experiment that pits outlet cues against direct party cues, we find that cross-cutting outlet and direct party cues lead citizens to perceive pundits as more ideologically moderate. As a result, respondents find out-party pundits on in-party outlets to be less biased, increasing interest in the pundits’ perspectives. However, while cross-cutting pundits gain among the out-party, they lose among the in-party. This trade-off holds important normative implications for individual news consumption and the ability of outlets and pundits to appear unbiased while garnering the largest possible audience.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/rap
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2022 16:21
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2022 18:03
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/113390

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