Quarterly Journal of Political Science > Vol 9 > Issue 1

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

Daniel J. Hopkins, Department of Government, Georgetown University, USA, dh335@georgetown.edu Jonathan M. Ladd, McCourt School of Public Policy and Department of Government, Georgetown University, USA, jml89@georgetown.edu
 
Suggested Citation
Daniel J. Hopkins and Jonathan M. Ladd (2014), "The Consequences of Broader Media Choice: Evidence from the Expansion of Fox News", Quarterly Journal of Political Science: Vol. 9: No. 1, pp 115-135. http://dx.doi.org/10.1561/100.00012099

Published: Mar 11, 2014
© 2014 D. J. Hopkins and J. M. Ladd
 
Subjects
Elections,  Political Psychology
 
Keywords
Media effectsPartisan mediaPolitical polarizationVote choiceFox News
 
 
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In this article:
1. Introduction
2. Media Effects on Voting Preferences
3. Effects of Ideologically Distinctive Media
4. Data and Methods
5. Modeling Choices
6. Results
7. Discussion and Conclusion
References

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 and whether any such effect is concentrated among those likely to agree with Fox's partisan 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. 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.

DOI:10.1561/100.00012099

Online Appendix | 100.00012099_app.zip (ZIP).

This is the article's accompanying appendix.

DOI: 10.1561/100.00012099_app