The Effects of Television News Propaganda: Experimental Evidence from China

54 Pages Posted: 13 May 2020

See all articles by Jennifer Pan

Jennifer Pan

Stanford University

Zijie Shao

Communication University of China

Yiqing Xu

Stanford University

Date Written: April 17, 2020

Abstract

More than half of the world's population live under authoritarian rule, where propaganda is deployed to manipulate attitudes and behaviors at scale. Television remains one of the most powerful forms of propaganda because audiences continue to regard television as an authoritative source of information. We create videos that realistically resemble Chinese state news propaganda and experimentally assess their effects on the policy preferences of the Chinese public. We find that propaganda moves respondents to adopt policy positions espoused in the video up to 48 hours after exposure and appears to work through persuasion. In contrast to prior research, effects do not vary based on individual predispositions or characteristics, which may be due to the content and format of propaganda.

Keywords: Propaganda, Media, Policy, China, Experiment

Suggested Citation

Pan, Jennifer and Shao, Zijie and Xu, Yiqing, The Effects of Television News Propaganda: Experimental Evidence from China (April 17, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3579148 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3579148

Jennifer Pan

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Zijie Shao

Communication University of China ( email )

1 Dingfuzhuang E Street
Chaoyang
Beijing
China

HOME PAGE: http://zijie-shao.com

Yiqing Xu (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

HOME PAGE: http://yiqingxu.org

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