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The European Journal of Communication Research

Ed. by Averbeck-Lietz, Stefanie / d'Haenens, Leen

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Lying press: Three levels of perceived media bias and their relationship with political preferences

Jakob-Moritz Eberl
Published Online: 2018-03-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2018-0002


In the context of decreasing media trust as well as the rise of populist movements in many Western Democracies, this study sets out to revisit the relationship between political preferences and perceived media bias. It investigates perceived bias of the entire media system, the perceived bias of individual outlets as well as perceived beneficiaries of this favorable coverage. Analyses are based on an online survey in Austria in 2015 (n ~ 1,679) and compare citizens’ perceived biases towards eight newspapers and television outlets. Results show that media system bias in Austria is strongly related to right-wing but not to left-wing extremism. Furthermore, there are not only differences between single outlets but also between media genres, as particularly tabloids are less afflicted by right-wing perceptions of bias. Finally, there is evidence of hostile media perceptions irrespective of actual media exposure.

Keywords: perceived media bias; media credibility; hostile-media phenomenon

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Published Online: 2018-03-06

Citation Information: Communications, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2018-0002.

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