Changing Minds Or Changing Channels?: Partisan News In An Age Of Choice by Kevin ArceneauxChanging Minds Or Changing Channels?: Partisan News In An Age Of Choice by Kevin Arceneaux

Changing Minds Or Changing Channels?: Partisan News In An Age Of Choice

byKevin Arceneaux, Martin Johnson

Paperback | August 27, 2013

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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.

Kevin Arceneaux is associate professor of political science and an affiliate of the Institute for Public Affairs at Temple University. Martin Johnson is professor in the Department of Political Science and directs the Media and Communication Research Lab at the University of California, Riverside.
Title:Changing Minds Or Changing Channels?: Partisan News In An Age Of ChoiceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:244 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.5 inPublished:August 27, 2013Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022604730X

ISBN - 13:9780226047300

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Table of Contents


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





Editorial Reviews

“Understanding the circumstances that limit, and amplify, the effects of partisan news remains an important endeavor. . . . Arceneaux and Johnson illuminate a productive path forward through their innovative experimental designs. . . . Changing Minds or Changing Channels? is a must-read for those interested in experimental design and media effects. The book will inspire scholars to think more critically about media choice and how we study it.”