Hostile media effect: testing the effects of political candidates of varying race levels and political party affiliation as news article subjects
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The perception that the media are biased against one's point of view is one that researchers have examined for more than two decades, and the theory of the Hostile Media Perception, also known as the Hostile Media Effect (HME), has been attached to the phenomenon (Vallone, Ross & Lepper, 1985). This particular study examined the Hostile Media Effect by cross-varying news article's subject (in this case, either a Democratic or Republican County Commissioner candidate and a Democratic or Republican U. S. Senator candidate) and participant partisanship (either Republican or Democrat). Study participants read two articles, one about a Republican candidate for U.S. Senator or County Commission and one about a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senator or County Commission. Going into the study, it was anticipated that there would be a higher occurrence of HME when participants read articles about the candidates seeking the higher level office of U. S. Senate. Another fundamental assumption of the study was that there would be a hostile media effect, that is, that Republicans would see the articles biased toward Democrats and vice versa. This, however, did not occur. Study analysis revealed a consistent occurrence of the opposite of hostile media effect.
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