Making Politics Attractive: Political Satire and Exposure to Political Information in New Media Environment in Russia

32 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2018

See all articles by Kirill Chmel

Kirill Chmel

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Nikita Savin

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Michael X. Delli Carpini

Annenberg School for Communication; University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: November 22, 2018

Abstract

There is an extensive body of research devoted to how political satire affects political knowledge and political behavior. Extant studies are focused on political satire in democratic countries and do not pay enough attention to authoritarian regimes. This study extends this research to non-democratic regimes, while also adding to it by exploring the extent to which the use of political satire encourages exposure to political information. We conduct an online experiment on the sample of Russian students. We borrow satirical pictures from Lentach – popular Russian social media public page, whose motto is “a propaganda of common sense” as opposed to biased political messages proliferated by government-controlled media outlets. Using both frequentist and Bayesian approaches, we found that access to political information containing satirical illustrating content increases attention to the information, relative to political news reports accompanied by standard news illustrations. The findings contribute to the literature on the political entertainment and exposure to political information, as well as to research on media under authoritarianism.

Keywords: political satire, selective exposure, new media environment, authoritarianism, Russia

JEL Classification: Z19

Suggested Citation

Chmel, Kirill and Savin, Nikita and Delli Carpini, Michael X., Making Politics Attractive: Political Satire and Exposure to Political Information in New Media Environment in Russia (November 22, 2018). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 63/PS/2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3289145 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3289145

Kirill Chmel (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Nikita Savin

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

Michael X. Delli Carpini

Annenberg School for Communication; University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA
United States

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