The Impact of Local News Media through the Lens of Voter Fraud

Nate Lemen Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Greg Shufeldt Butler University
There is a fierce argument in the United States surrounding the role, importance, and trustworthiness of the media. Ironically, this argument is fueled mostly by pundits, polarized individuals who want to see all media reflect their views. This argument is also fueled in large part by the increasing polarization in the United States, leading to the issue of selective exposure. This is the idea people will flock to media that parrots their ideas. In turn, this causes media outlets to hire more pundits to attract a wider audience. The trend presented here has led to an overall distrust of the national media. However, this is all happening on the national scale. There is very little research concerning local media and how it is impacted by this polarization at all. Using survey questions sent out across the United States, I examine the citizens’ views toward local media through the lens of their attitudes toward two one issue in particular: voter fraud. By examining this—and by using several control variables, such as the respondents’ race or ideology—I found that for those that identify as “conservative,” no amount of coverage will be considered satisfactory regarding this issue. These findings highlight the race-to-the-bottom nature of polarization and how it continues to impact the American political economy.

Keywords: attitudes, local media, media coverage, photo ID, polarization, trustworthiness, voter fraud, selective exposure
Political Science
Oral Presentation

When & Where

09:15 AM
Jordan Hall 172