Whose media are hostile? The spillover effect of interpersonal discussions on media bias perceptions

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Abstract

Since Eveland and Shah (2003) published their seminal study on the impact of social networks on media bias perceptions in the US, little has been researched about the interpersonal antecedents of hostile media perceptions. In this study we address this gap by investigating the role of safe, or like-minded, political discussions on individuals' likelihood to perceive media as hostile. We use survey data from more than 5,000 individuals in Germany. Our findings reveal that like-minded discussions increase one's likelihood to perceive media as hostile; yet, only among those more politically engaged and ideologically on the left. The significance and theoretical implications of the results are discussed in the concluding section.

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Castro, L., Hopmann, D. N., & Nir, L. (2021). Whose media are hostile? The spillover effect of interpersonal discussions on media bias perceptions. Communications, 46(4), 540–563. https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2019-0140

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