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(Vol 9, Issue 1, 2014, pp 115-135)
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.
Online Appendix | 100.00012099_app.zip (ZIP),
This is the article's accompanying appendix.DOI: 10.1561/100.00012099_app