Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2070596
 
 

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The Consequences of Broader Media Choice: Evidence from the Expansion of Fox News


Daniel J. Hopkins


Georgetown University

Jonathan McDonald Ladd


Georgetown University - Department of Government

December 11, 2013


Abstract:     
In recent decades, the diversity of Americans' news choices has expanded substantially. This paper examines whether access to an ideologically distinctive news source --- the Fox News cable channel --- influences vote intentions. It focuses on whether any such effect is concentrated among those likely to agree with Fox's viewpoint. To test these possibilities with individual-level data, we identify local Fox News availability for 22,595 respondents to the 2000 National Annenberg Election Survey. For the population overall, we find a pro-Republican average treatment effect that is statistically indistinguishable from zero. Yet, when separating respondents by party, we find a sizable effect of Fox access only on the vote intentions of Republicans and pure independents, a result that is bolstered by placebo tests. Contrary to fears about pervasive media influence, access to an ideologically distinctive media source reinforces the loyalties of co-partisans and possibly persuades independents without influencing out-partisans.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

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Date posted: May 30, 2012 ; Last revised: December 11, 2013

Suggested Citation

Hopkins, Daniel J. and Ladd, Jonathan McDonald, The Consequences of Broader Media Choice: Evidence from the Expansion of Fox News (December 11, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2070596 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2070596

Contact Information

Daniel J. Hopkins (Contact Author)
Georgetown University ( email )
ICC, Suite 681
Washington, DC 20057-1034
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.danhopkins.org
Jonathan McDonald Ladd
Georgetown University - Department of Government ( email )
ICC, Suite 681
Washington, DC 20057-1034
United States
202-687-7112 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://government.georgetown.edu/jml89
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