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Does the media system matter? A multilevel analysis of the impact of the press on voting propensities in established democracies


Müller, L; Wüest, B (2011). Does the media system matter? A multilevel analysis of the impact of the press on voting propensities in established democracies. In: WAPOR Regional Seminar “Transnational Connections”, Segovia, Spain, 17 March 2011 - 18 March 2011.

Abstract

In modern democracies elections are considered the central mechanism for people to control their political representatives. Yet, an effective control requires both knowledge of incumbents’ past per-formance and visibility of alternative party options in electoral contests. This paper evaluates how the media system contributes to these premises. By means of cross-national and multilevel analysis, we test whether well-balanced and critical media coverage mobilizes voters and levels out the impact of individual prerequisites for political participation. Our results indicate, first, that ideological-ly biased press systems lead to higher turnout and reduce the importance of personal resources and characteristics. Second, we find that the more often newspapers cover improper behavior by officials, the less likely voters are to cast a vote.

In modern democracies elections are considered the central mechanism for people to control their political representatives. Yet, an effective control requires both knowledge of incumbents’ past per-formance and visibility of alternative party options in electoral contests. This paper evaluates how the media system contributes to these premises. By means of cross-national and multilevel analysis, we test whether well-balanced and critical media coverage mobilizes voters and levels out the impact of individual prerequisites for political participation. Our results indicate, first, that ideological-ly biased press systems lead to higher turnout and reduce the importance of personal resources and characteristics. Second, we find that the more often newspapers cover improper behavior by officials, the less likely voters are to cast a vote.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Event End Date:18 March 2011
Deposited On:25 Jan 2012 13:18
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:18
Official URL:http://www.transnationalconnections.ie.edu
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-53921

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