The Role of Public Broadcasting in Media Bias: Do People React Differently to Pro-government Bias in Public and Private Media?

Taka aki Asano, Atsushi Tago, Seiki Tanaka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

People often reject new information, especially when it does not fit their prior beliefs. But do publics in advanced democracies reject information from public and private media outlets in the same way? We examine this question in the form of the media’s pro-government bias in the under-examined case of Japan. By combining unique textual data with an original survey experiment, we document that (1) people generally tend to reject pro-government biased information that overly praises government actions; but (2) the reasons why people reject the same biased information vary—based on their expectations of neutrality for public media, and on expectations derived from political ideology for private media. Our study suggests that the basis of people’s motivated reasoning differs when they evaluate content from public and private media.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Behavior
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Biased information
  • Experiments
  • Motivated reasoning
  • Public broadcasting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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