W8 Media - Brian Wong
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W8 Media - Brian Wong
Mechanisms of Influence
Information Provision (Druckman and Lupia, 2016)
Cues (Elites - linked nicely to supply-side story) - cf. Sniderman and Borock, 2014
Political Elites employ: partisanship, ideology, group endorsements, polls, and appearance
Values Engendering (Druckman and Lupia, 2016)
Perceptual Frames (Snow, Tan, Owen, 2013)
Heuristic and Normative Shortcuts (Levendusky, 2009)
Values as 'situation-invariant and action-guiding' (Druckman and Lupia, 2016)
What happens when competing frames interact with each other?
Sniderman and Theriault (2004): no frame wins
More nuanced/realistic picture - see Chong and Druckman, 2007 --> dependent upon relative strengths of the frames
Identity Construction (Druckman and Lupia, 2016)
Promoting/demoting the salience of relevant cleavages, identities, in-groups and out-groups
Emotivist conception of how individuals consume the media
Role of media in reinforcing partisanship (cf. the section 'Media and Politics')
Social Movements (cf. Tilly and Tarrow 2015)
1) Common Consciousness
2) Organisational Element
3) International Linkage
Media as 'Mirror' vs. Media as Mediator (Althaus et al. 2011)
Mirror Theory posits that the media act as transmitters/literal translators of information
Media as responsive and passive agents
Media as Mediator --> constructed reality via reporting (Althaus et al. 2011)
*SET OF MEDIATING FACTORS*
Factor 1) Current Political Context and the 'Imaginary' of the Current (Rosenstiel, 2005)
Factor 2) Institutional Focus of News Gathering System (Tuchman, 1973)
Factor 3) Geographic Structure of News-Gathering (Schiff, 1996)
Factor 4) Nature of News Event (Accidental vs. Routine) (Bennett, Lawrence, and Livingston, 2007)
Factor 5) Audience Tastes (Baker 2002)
To what extent are audience tastes constructed? cf. Chomsky's 'Manufacturing Consent'
Factor 6) Fixed News Hole for Media
Supply-side vs. Demand-side
Supply-side: Media construct and shape political realities --> feedback loop of preferences
Demand-side: Media react/respond to shifting/'exogenous' preferences and tastes of audience
Conditional Influence Hypothesis (cf. Chong and Druckman, 2010) - malleability and responsiveness of audience vary according to audience-specific characteristics
If prior memory is acquired in 'online' mode, then pre-established frame remains rigid and prevents future alterations/changes
For 'memory' or 'normal' prior memories, pre-established frames are susceptible to later reframes
Ergo: the extent to which the media could alter/construct individuals' frames/perceptive values/beliefs = dependent upon the means through which the initial frames/values are acquired
Begs the question - how much of original beliefs/values = from media vs. other sources?
Extent to which decay occurs --> does the trend of decay persist continually over time, or does the rate of decay decline as time passes? e.g. Second-order decrease? (d^2 y/dx^2)
Media Elites/Other Elites
The Economic Elite control the media via:
2) Editorial Autonomy
3) Financialisation of State Processes (e.g. Economic Elites exert power via the political arena)
4) Defining what constitutes 'relevant' and 'irrelevant' discourse - cf. Miliband re: shifting/constructing the default discursive position within society
Chomsky's "Manufactured Consent"
The Political Elite control the media
1) Implicit tools of 'consent' and 'consensus'
2) Feedback loop - entrenching the regime's legitimacy provides LT stability and benefits to the media agencies; vice versa
Particularly relevant given rise of Trump and 'fake news'?
Pluralist Model of Power
Media as 'Fourth Estate'
Media as exposing regime incompetence/failure etc.
Where the elites are strong/'performing well', media agencies have incentives to approximate their preferences; where they are performing 'less well', media agencies have incentives to distance themselves from the elites
cf. War Reporting under Blair and Bush
Media (Explanatory Variable)
Objectively measured rates of consumption
1) Unclear re: quality of consumption and engagement
2) Unclear if quantity of time should be factored into account - cf. Fox News attracts *longer viewership on average* vs. CNN attracts *more viewers, but shorter avg. viewing time in general*
3) Measurement difficulties
4) Households may watch/access TV via alternative methods
Subjective rates of consumption
Problem - as noted by Prior, 2013 - individuals tend to over-report hours of consumption
Problem (cf. Prior, 2013) --> other forms of media consumption?
Political Engagement (Dependent Variable)
1) Electoral Turnout
Problem 1 - cf. Prior, 2013 --> tendency of individuals to over-report voting
Problem 2: engaged but non-voting individuals?
Problem 3: other forms of engagement?
2) Activism Turnout
Difficult to quantify/collect data for --> what counts as activism?
What about online 'slacktivism'/'Armchair Activism' etc.?
3) Local Meetings
Unclear how indicative/representative this is
Also dependent upon dominant political culture and extent to which active participatory democracy is established
Media and Politics
Increased polarisation of politics
Zaller's 'vanishing marginals theory' and analysis (1992)
Intra-partisans exhibit a positive correlation between defection to intra-partisan incumbent and level of exposure to information
Out-partisans exhibit a non-monotonic/'bell-curve' relationship between defection to incumbent and level of exposure
Argument: role of media in reinforcing incumbent advantage via airtime etc.
Prior, 2013 finds no evidence of increased polarisation
Media do not increase partisanship amongst non-partisans
However, they may reinforce partisan schemas amongst existing partisans
Most contemporary media organisations as predominantly centrist
Problem with Prior, 2013 - conflation between i) AVERAGE = centrist (e.g. partisan-biased programmes cancelling each other out) vs. ii) SUBSTANTIVE NEUTRALITY --> where all programmes = predominantly reporting via the policy median
Groseclose and Milyo (2005) find alleged 'liberal bias'
NB: may have over-estimated the 'liberalness' of outlets
Methodological Note: the contested definition and nature of 'liberalism-conservatism' cleavage
Decreasing quality of political engagement?
cf. the 'TV Candidate Effect' (Lenz and Lawson, 2007)
e.g. War (Althaus et al. 2011)
Media tend to report casualties ~ i) anticipated prospects of wartime victory and ii) number of reports on wartime operations
-3.14* and 1.50* respectively
No evidence that media's reporting is positively correlated with no. of actual casualties
Statistically insignificant relationship; model has low R-squared
Proportion of stories mentioning death ~ anticipated prospects of eventual victory and number of reports on wartime ops --> -0.47* and 0.27*
Racial Politics (Kellstedt, 2009)
Correlation between following 'prompts' in media and pro-racial-egalitarian attitudes
State's Rights - -0.27# (# denotes p < 0.1)
Egalitarian Cues - +0.02**
Individualistic Cues = STATISTICALLY INSIGNIFICANT