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Scholars Day: April 15, 2009

Perceived Fairness in Media Depictions of Presidential Candidates: The Roles of Political Party Affiliation and Preferred Media Source

A national survey examining public opinion regarding the 2008 Presidential election revealed that Americans do not trust media coverage of the presidential race (Rosenthal et al, 2008). Our current study examined factors that impact subsequent trust in the media. To this end, we conducted a national survey to investigate whether the media source used to acquire political information mediates the degree of trust each political party has in the election coverage. Results indicated that an individual's political affiliation is related to their level of trust in the media. Specifically, Democrats tend to be more trusting of the media than are Republicans. Mediational analyses revealed that media source mediates the relationship between political affiliation and trust in the media. The implications of our study pose the question, if the voters do not trust the information given to them by the media, should they be considered informed voters?

Presenter: Claire Gravelin (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Psychology
Location: 12 Hartwell
Time: 10:45 am (Session II)