Examining the Link between Issue Attitudes and News Source: The Case of Latinos and Immigration Reform
36 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2007
Date Written: September 28, 2007
This paper explores whether an individual's news source can explain their attitudes on immigration. We focus on the Spanish-speaking population in the U.S., since they have the option of accessing their news in English, Spanish or in both languages. Our audience influence hypothesis predicts that Spanish-language news will cover immigration in a more positive and informative manner than will English-language news. Thus, Latinos who use Spanish-language news may have a higher likelihood of possessing pro-immigrant sentiments than Latinos who only use English-language news. Content analysis of Spanish and English-language television news segments demonstrates that Spanish-language news does provide a more positive discussion of immigration than does English-language news. Analysis of Latino survey respondents indicate that those who use Spanish-language news hold more favorable views towards immigration than those who only use English-language news. Generational status also influences Latinos' immigration attitudes, though its impact is not as great as one's news source.
Keywords: public opinion, media, immigration
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