The interactive effect of media bias and election proximity on political knowledge

Alkan, Oğuzhan (2020) The interactive effect of media bias and election proximity on political knowledge. [Thesis]

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This thesis investigates the interactive effects of temporal proximity to elections and media bias against opposition on political knowledge. The findings suggest that, in countries with biased media environments, voters are less accurate in placing political parties on ideological scales compared to their counterparts in countries with free media environments. Furthermore, since the inflow of political information immensely increases when elections are imminent, citizens tend to exhibit higher levels of political knowledge shortly before or after an election and such heightened levels of political knowledge disappear throughout the electoral cycle. Perhaps more importantly, this thesis demonstrates that the effect of temporal proximity to elections is contingent on media bias. While the average accuracy of identifying party positions fluctuates severely throughout the electoral cycle in countries with considerable media bias, this accuracy remains stable in the remainder of the cases. Besides, the negative effect of time passed since the previous election is observable only in countries with biased media environments. This thesis also seeks to explore the individual determinants of political knowledge in countries with highly biased media environments. Owing to its fragmented and polarized media landscape, Turkey serves as a suitable case study for this exploration. The empirical analyses show that Turkish citizens’ attitudes towards political parties have substantial effects on their political knowledge. Turkish voters are more accurate in identifying the ideological stances of parties that are either from very distant or own ideological stand. Furthermore, voters who strongly favor one party over the others are significantly less accurate in placing even the parties with marginally distant ideological stances. Having positive attitudes towards political parties also increases the accuracy of voters’ placements of corresponding parties. In addition, Turkish voters who follow newspapers more frequently are more accurate in their placements of political parties. However, newspaper readership enhances voters’ accuracy of placing only the parties they dislike. Lastly, this thesis offers limited empirical support for the effect of TV consumption on political knowledge
Item Type: Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Knowledge. -- Media Freedom. -- Election Proximity. -- Media Consumption. -- Affective Polarization. -- Siyasi Bilgi. -- Medya Özgürlüğü. --Seçimlere Yakınlık. -- Medya Tüketimi. -- Duygusal Kutuplaşma.
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Academic programs > Political Science
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Depositing User: IC-Cataloging
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2020 20:18
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2022 10:36

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