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Expert news sources offer context and act as translators, communicating complex policy issues to the public. Therefore, these sources have implications for who, and what is elevated and legitimized by news coverage. This element considers patterns in expert sources, focusing on a particular area of expertise: politics. As a starting point, it conducts a content analysis tracking which types of political experts are most likely to be interviewed, using this analysis to explain patterns in expert sourcing. Building on the source data, it next conducts experiments and surveys of journalists to consider demand for expert sources. Finally, shifting the analysis to the supply of expert sources, it turns to a survey of faculty to track expert experiences with journalists. Jointly, the results suggest underlying patterns in expert sourcing is a tension between journalists' preferences, the time constraints of producing news, and the preferences of the experts themselves.
Previous study demonstrates that partisans perceive in-party news outlets as fair, and out-party news outlets as unfair. However, much of this study relies on one-shot designs. We create an ecologically valid design that randomly assigns participants to news feeds within a week-long online news portal where the balance of in-party and out-party news outlets has been manipulated. We find that sustained exposure to a feed that features out-party news media attenuates Democrats' beliefs that Fox News is unfair, but the same is not true for Republican's perceptions of MSNBC's fairness. Unexpectedly, repeated exposure to in-party news did increase Republicans' beliefs that Fox News is unfair. This study updates our understanding of partisan news effects in a fragmented online news environment.
President Donald Trump faced substantial scandal coverage early in his presidency. Can these stories about presidential controversies change the opinions of Trump’s fellow Republicans, or are the efforts of the news media to inform partisans about prominent issues futile? Past research on partisan reactions to major political scandals were confounded by problems with self-reported media use and single-shot experimental treatments. We address these concerns using a unique, repeated-exposure experimental design that either randomly supplied participants with news about the Trump-Russia scandal, or removed most of those stories from view, over the course of one week in June 2017. This design mimics sustained media attention to a political scandal and disentangles the effects of media coverage from selection in the context of a high-choice media environment. We find that Republicans randomly assigned to see more Trump-Russia headlines reacted more negatively than Democrats or Independents, rating Trump’s performance lower and expressing more negative emotions about him. Republicans’ perceptions of media bias were not affected by Trump-Russia stories, and effects were not contingent upon clicking the articles. Intense media focus on a story can alter partisans’ evaluations of politicians by shifting the balance of headlines.
Women know stuff. Yet, all too often, they are underrepresented in political science meetings, syllabi, and editorial boards. To counter the implicit bias that leads to women’s underrepresentation, to ensure that women’s expertise is included and shared, and to improve the visibility of women in political science, in February 2016 we launched the “Women Also Know Stuff” initiative, which features a crowd-sourced website and an active Twitter feed. In this article, we share the origins of our project, the effect we are already having on media utilization of women experts, and plans for how to expand that success within the discipline of political science. We also share our personal reflections on the project.
Recent research has uncovered a dynamic role for emotion in political decision-making. Anger in particular has increased in importance as scholars uncover its role in motivating participation and partisanship. One method for examining these effects is to use an induction to invoke an emotion, though such techniques are often limited to the laboratory. We discuss pertinent psychological research on induction, test several methods, and make practical recommendations for political science survey research. Using a unique research design which varies the way anger is invoked, we first find significant effects using a scenario induction. We replicate these findings with an adult sample and extend the results to political inductions. We are able to offer practical advice to scholars interested in replicating the effects of angry campaign ads or better understanding the effects of anger arousal on political behavior.
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