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Ideologically Extreme Political News and the News Grazer: Does Ideological News Reduce the Mediating Effects of Public Discourse?

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Abstract:

This research assesses the effects of ideological political news on television viewers. It is grounded in a theory of “news grazing” suggesting that viewing public gather less political news, at intermittent intervals, and often in a distracted state. We first report survey data indicating that news grazers now constitute approximately 60 percent of the American public, and this number appears to be increasing. Compared to news consumers of the past, the majority of today’s TV news watchers are less apt to watch news they consider uninteresting. In order to adapt to this trend in a fragmented news environment, many television news providers created news products that are more entertaining and compelling than the more standard traditional media. We then report results from an experiment assessing the behavioral effects of ideological news, one network adaptation to the news grazing trend. Our experiment assesses the impact of ideologically charged programs like the O’Reilly Factor on viewers’ perceptions of political opposition. Notably, does ideological news promote ideological stereotyping, a perception of wider and more conflicting differences between ideological classes. Our experimental results offer little evidence of an ideological stereotyping effect, but we do find that exposure to this type of news promotes a larger perceived ideological gap between political elites.

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news (188), ideolog (83), polit (63), fox (40), televis (31), exposur (29), o (28), view (25), stereotyp (25), reilli (25), 2004 (24), cnn (24), conserv (24), program (23), perceiv (23), new (23), grazer (23), 01 (22), viewer (22), condit (22), research (21),

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Cable News, News Grazers, Fox News
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Name: American Political Science Association
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MLA Citation:

Forgette, Richard. and Morris, Jonathan. "Ideologically Extreme Political News and the News Grazer: Does Ideological News Reduce the Mediating Effects of Public Discourse?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Marriott Wardman Park, Omni Shoreham, Washington Hilton, Washington, DC, Sep 01, 2005 <Not Available>. 2013-12-17 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p41658_index.html>

APA Citation:

Forgette, R. G. and Morris, J. S. , 2005-09-01 "Ideologically Extreme Political News and the News Grazer: Does Ideological News Reduce the Mediating Effects of Public Discourse?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Marriott Wardman Park, Omni Shoreham, Washington Hilton, Washington, DC Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2013-12-17 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p41658_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This research assesses the effects of ideological political news on television viewers. It is grounded in a theory of “news grazing” suggesting that viewing public gather less political news, at intermittent intervals, and often in a distracted state. We first report survey data indicating that news grazers now constitute approximately 60 percent of the American public, and this number appears to be increasing. Compared to news consumers of the past, the majority of today’s TV news watchers are less apt to watch news they consider uninteresting. In order to adapt to this trend in a fragmented news environment, many television news providers created news products that are more entertaining and compelling than the more standard traditional media. We then report results from an experiment assessing the behavioral effects of ideological news, one network adaptation to the news grazing trend. Our experiment assesses the impact of ideologically charged programs like the O’Reilly Factor on viewers’ perceptions of political opposition. Notably, does ideological news promote ideological stereotyping, a perception of wider and more conflicting differences between ideological classes. Our experimental results offer little evidence of an ideological stereotyping effect, but we do find that exposure to this type of news promotes a larger perceived ideological gap between political elites.

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Document Type: application/pdf
Page count: 25
Word count: 5990
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Ideologically Extreme News and the News Grazer: Does Ideological News Reduce the Mediating Effects of Public Discourse? Richard Forgette Jonathan S. Morris Department of Political Science Department of Political Science University of Mississippi East Carolina University rforgett@olemiss.edu morrisj@mail.ecu.edu Prepared for delivery at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association Washington D.C. September 1-4. 1 Abstract This research assesses the effects of ideological political news on television viewers. It is grounded in a theory of “news grazing”
1 -.83 .72 .44 .20 1.24 Constant 2 -.49 1.04 .80 .59 1.75 Constant 3 .34 1.87 1.42 1.55 2.81 LR Chi-Squared 90.51*** 113.43*** 194.28*** 58.30*** 57.79*** N 1201 1218 1220 1202 1221 *p<.10 **p<.05 ***p<.01 (two-tailed) Note: Cell entries are ordered probit coefficients with standard errors in parentheses. See appendix for question wording.


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