The Effects of Partisan News Media on Voters and Members of Congress

Over at Monkey Cage, John Sides discusses new research on media effects conducted by political scientists Kevin Arceneaux, Martin Johnson, René Lindstädt and Ryan J. Vander Wielen:

The emergence of Fox News in 1996 offers researchers a neat opportunity. Cable providers added Fox News gradually, meaning that people in some parts of the country could see Fox News while others could not. The gradual rollout of Fox News makes it easier to identify its effects. For example, Republican-leaning voters were more likely to support then-Gov. George W. Bush in places with Fox News compared to places without it. Now, new research shows that Fox News’s impact extended beyond voters — to members of Congress themselves. And perhaps most surprisingly, both Democratic and Republican members were affected. [Continue reading here.]

One thought on “The Effects of Partisan News Media on Voters and Members of Congress

  1. From a “critical thinking about causal inference” perspective, an important question here is what factors influenced cable companies’ decisions to offer Fox News in certain areas but not others. Perhaps it is those differences (and not the presence/absence of Fox News) that accounts for the differences in political behavior. If not, this is an interesting finding that has important implications about the affects of media on political behavior.

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