Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture | Seminar

FGGA Research Seminar: Mass Media as a Source of Public Responsiveness

Date
18 June 2018
Time
Series
FGGA Research Seminars
Address
Wijnhaven
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP Den Haag
Room
2.58

A sizable literature finds evidence of public responsiveness to policy change, across a range of salient policy domains and countries. We have a very limited sense for what drives this aggregate-level responsiveness, however. One possibility is that individuals learn at least part of what they need to know from mass media. Work tends to emphasize failures in both media coverage, and citizens, but little research explores the prevalence of relevant, accurate information in media content, or citizens’ abilities to identify and respond to that information. We examine both, through an automated content analysis of 35 years of defense spending reporting, validated by a coding exercise fielded to survey respondents. Results prompt analyses of ANES and GSS data, tracing both individual-level perceptions of and preferences for defense spending change over time, which illustrates how media might facilitate – but also confuse – public responsiveness.

No registration is needed for the seminar. 

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