Recent years have witnessed a growing aversion to immigration worldwide and, at the same time, radicalization of public opinion on the issue. This paper explores the relationship between media news and individual attitudes to immigration. We run an empirical analysis whereby an index capturing individuals’ pro-immigration attitude, measured in 19 countries, is regressed over indexes capturing the coverage and tone of media news about immigration. We find that pro-immigration attitudes are negatively correlated with media coverage and the negative tone of news. However, this correlation is significant only for those with high trust in the media. In the case of low trust, higher coverage of immigration and a negative news slant make previous preferences and beliefs vis-à-vis immigration more extreme, yielding a lower pro-immigration index for those politically on the right, while the opposite applies to those on the left. The pro-immigration index is constructed by means of fuzzy methods to account for the many aspects defining attitudes to immigration.

Effect of Media News on Radicalization of Attitudes to Immigration

Agovino, Massimiliano;Carillo, Maria Rosaria
;
Spagnolo, Nicola
2021

Abstract

Recent years have witnessed a growing aversion to immigration worldwide and, at the same time, radicalization of public opinion on the issue. This paper explores the relationship between media news and individual attitudes to immigration. We run an empirical analysis whereby an index capturing individuals’ pro-immigration attitude, measured in 19 countries, is regressed over indexes capturing the coverage and tone of media news about immigration. We find that pro-immigration attitudes are negatively correlated with media coverage and the negative tone of news. However, this correlation is significant only for those with high trust in the media. In the case of low trust, higher coverage of immigration and a negative news slant make previous preferences and beliefs vis-à-vis immigration more extreme, yielding a lower pro-immigration index for those politically on the right, while the opposite applies to those on the left. The pro-immigration index is constructed by means of fuzzy methods to account for the many aspects defining attitudes to immigration.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/103393
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