Moderation from Bias: A Field Experiment on Partisan Media in a New Democracy

Partisan media are often blamed for polarization in newly liberalized regimes. However, there is little empirical work on the subject, and information-processing theories suggest that extreme position taking is only one possible response to opinionated news. Based on a field experiment, the researchers find no effect of like-minded media on polarization, but significant evidence of moderation from cross-cutting broadcasts, indicating that rival arguments persuaded subjects. Partisan broadcasts also encouraged displays of national over partisan identity. Rather than fueling extremism, they argue that partisan media can moderate by exposing citizens to alternate perspectives.

Year Country Author Type
2014 Ghana Conroy-Krutz, J. and Moehler, D. academic article
Theory of Change Keywords Download/link
Intermediate Outcome 2 extremism, partisan media Download/link

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