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Media Biases in Politics

Media affects certain aspects of peoples lives’ such as their decision making process, by presenting to us what appeals most to our desire. Media outlets choose to expose audiences to only certain news coverage and information on their broadcasts. This ultimately affects people from getting the whole story. In this experiment,  the researcher will ask a set of questions to find out a person’s political affiliation. The researcher will then survey the same group of people by handing them an article with information for and against President Obama and Governor Romney. After reading the article, the researcher will give them a posttest to see whether the article has affected their opinion of the candidate. The independent variable is the news article that people are going to be shown relaying negative and positive material about the candidates. The dependent variable will be the person’s viewpoint on the outcome of before and after reading the article.

Certain media outlets have been criticized of being biased. People believe that certain news corporations such as CNN and Fox News favor certain political parties and candidates. In the U.S. given that over 70% of Americans believe that there is a terrific deal or a fair amount of media bias in news coverage (Pew, 2004). Other researchers and political scientists have also asked about media bias and its impact on people. “Following Lazarsfeld, Berelson and Gaudet (1944), political scientists have in a great used surveys in order assess the effects of the media. Most of  of these surveys  point out that most people who watch or a  given media source have the a tendency to share some common political viewpoint with the specific source” ”.  Research has showed that news outlets such as Fox News tend to lean towards the right compared to other news outlets. However many news commentators on Fox claim to be independent. Fox News very Meaningfully  to the right of all  other mainstream television networks such as CBS, ABC, and NBC this difference is agreed upon in most  popular discussions as well as in academic discussions (Groseclose & Milyo, 2005).

Fox News is a cable broadcasting news station; people with basic television, in some areas, do not have access to view this channel. Researchers believe that the exposure of Fox News throughout the years has swayed Democratic voters to vote Republican. “First, Fox News entry appealed to Democratic voters to the vote Republican. Secondly, Fox News attracted the new Republican voters. In order provide evidence on  two channels, they study the effect of Fox News on the outcome as measured by the number of people voting during the polls” (Della, 2006). Young voters are the most persuaded by the media; they are trying to find people who they can identify with (Della, 2006). Although many young voters may tend to continue the political values they learn at home, many candidates may use celebrities in order to persuade young voters. “Oftentimes these celebrities use their influence to persuade citizens in order to vote in a certain way or advocate for certain issues such as reproductive freedom, environmental protection and human rights” (Austin & e-tal, 2008). The use of celebrities in political campaigns has been proven to work in some instances. “Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of Barack Obama for president in 2008 affected the choices that many people made when they voted that year”(Zeleny, 2007) Many voters identified with Oprah on the way she has stood up for women’s rights and child rights.

People are intrigued about celebrities’ lives, and what they do and believe in this allows an upper hand for the candidates. Repetition of certain campaign ads and exposure is also a technique used by political candidates in order to sway a vote. “Repeated exposure over time to the same messages makes it much easy for people to admit  them as true, and extremely important, act as a though they are true, even when they 'know' the messages are false” (Zeleny, 2007). There are also various shows that ridicule political figures in a sarcastic manner. People engage with these types of comedy shows, which may also lead in changing a person’s perspective on the candidate. “Previous research has indicated  that people process the  comedic news differently from the  hard news; comedic news is lesser subject to the counter-argument than hard news. The popularity of “ Daily Show” and “e Colbert Report” may be testaments to this idea.”

Research problem: When presented with a negative and positive article on two running mates, change a persons view on how they will vote in political campaigns. 

Hypothesis: My hypothesis is that a person will be influenced by reading the article and change their opinion on the candidate.



     Number of participants: There should be a total of 30 participants in the study

     Ages: (18-25; 18-30) mean age?

       Sex: Hispanic, White, Black (expected mostly Latino)

       Demographic info: Students at UIW; (classrooms, permission from the professor,            

Random people walking in school)



     Assessing people’s political affiliation, if media affects their outcome on political candidates.

1)      What is your political affiliation? (Republican, Democrat)

2)      Ever voted before? (Yes, No)

3)      How often do you watch the news? (Response scale???)

4)      What is your ethnicity? (Response scale???)

Participants will respond to the questions with Response scale: (yes or no; level of 1-5, 1 being the lowest 5 being the highest;

Republican, Democrat)

Responses are put into the different categories according to the response scale.


Experiment between subjects. IV, news article; DV, outcome of their decision on the candidate.


Try to find participants in a classroom, so you can have a group of people all at once; preferably, students who are in Political Science or Government classes. Give out a pretest to get a sense of the participants being studied. Hand out positive and negative articles on Romney and Obama. Give out a posttest with a question regarding the candidates in order to your hypothesis. Place the questionnaires in a pile according to the answers people give response. Determine whether your hypothesis is supported or refuted.


Set up a theoretical analysis, in order to find out if the news article influenced people or if their views and political affiliations stayed the same.

Not sure what you mean by this, but I’d suggest paired t-test analysis assessing pre- & post-test scores, with a prediction that scores would not significantly change after reading the articles (?) not sure I fully understand what you expect to find, so change accordingly



Finding people from different ethnic backgrounds; People that are willing to participate in this survey; Professors allowing students to take part in this experiment.

Future directions    Future researchers should study not only if media exposure affects people’s outcome on politics, but if other factors play a role in the decision process.


In this area of research, the news article may persuade people, but they may have other outcomes before Election Day. It is not a set decision that the media will be the only factor affecting their decision. Future researchers can use this knowledge in order to find the levels of influence the media has on people. This research will not only allow in the field of politics, but other fields, as well.

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