Cloth $75.00 ISBN: 9780226047270 Published August 2013
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780226047300 Published August 2013
E-book $7.00 to $25.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226047447 Published August 2013

Changing Minds or Changing Channels?

Partisan News in an Age of Choice

Kevin Arceneaux and Martin Johnson

Kevin Arceneaux and Martin Johnson

244 pages | 38 figures, 31 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2013
Cloth $75.00 ISBN: 9780226047270 Published August 2013
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780226047300 Published August 2013
E-book $7.00 to $25.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226047447 Published August 2013
We live in an age of media saturation, where with a few clicks of the remote—or mouse—we can tune in to programming where the facts fit our ideological predispositions. But what are the political consequences of this vast landscape of media choice? Partisan news has been roundly castigated for reinforcing prior beliefs and contributing to the highly polarized political environment we have today, but there is little evidence to support this claim, and much of what we know about the impact of news media come from studies that were conducted at a time when viewers chose from among six channels rather than scores.

Through a series of innovative experiments, Kevin Arceneaux and Martin Johnson show that such criticism is unfounded. Americans who watch cable news are already polarized, and their exposure to partisan programming of their choice has little influence on their political positions. In fact, the opposite is true: viewers become more polarized when forced to watch programming that opposes their beliefs. A much more troubling consequence of the ever-expanding media environment, the authors show, is that it has allowed people to tune out the news: the four top-rated partisan news programs draw a mere three percent of the total number of people watching television.

Overturning much of the conventional wisdom, Changing Minds or Changing Channels? demonstrate that the strong effects of media exposure found in past research are simply not applicable in today’s more saturated media landscape.

Shanto Iyengar, Stanford University
“Kevin Arceneaux and Martin Johnson debunk conventional wisdom concerning the divisive effects of cable programming by showing that the availability of consumer choice dampens the effects of exposure to partisan news sources on a variety of beliefs and attitudes. Changing Minds or Changing Channels? will have a significant impact on research in American politics and political communication for years to come.”
Contents

Acknowledgments

 

Chapter 1. The Expansion of Choice

Chapter 2. Changes in Media Technology and Content

Chapter 3. Selective Exposure and Media Effects

Chapter 4. Partisan News and Mass Polarization

Chapter 5. Hearing the Other Side and Standing Firm

Chapter 6. The Salience and Framing of Issues

Chapter 7. Bias and Incivility in Partisan Media

Chapter 8. Media Effects in the Age of Choice

 

Appendices

Notes

References

Index

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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