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The European Journal of Communication Research

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

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Public television and anti-immigrant sentiments in Europe. A multilevel analysis of patterns in television consumption

Laura Jacobs
  • Department Political Communication & Journalism Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) University of Amsterdam Amsterdam The Netherlands
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/ Marc Hooghe
Published Online: 2019-06-25 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2019-2025


Mass media have been accused of cultivating anti-immigrant sentiments in Western societies. Most studies on this topic, however, have not made a distinction between the types of television program (information vs. entertainment) or television station (public vs. commercial). Adopting a comparative approach, we use data from the six waves of the European Social Survey (ESS, 2002–2012, n = 162,987) to assess the relationship between individual and aggregate level patterns of television consumption and anti-immigrant sentiments in European societies. Individual television viewing time is positively associated with anti-immigrant sentiments, while frequent exposure to news and information programs is associated with lower levels of anti-immigrant sentiments. At the aggregate level we observe a positive effect of the total viewing time in society on anti-immigrant sentiments. In the conclusion we offer some suggestions on how this effect could be explained.

Keywords: public broadcasting; anti-immigrant sentiments; European Social Survey; multilevel analysis; television; media consumption

Laura Jacobs took the lead while writing the article. She was responsible for data collection and analysis and contributed substantially to the theoretical framework and conclusions. Marc Hooghe helped to design the theoretical framework and the conclusion of the paper.


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About the article

Published Online: 2019-06-25

Citation Information: Communications, ISSN (Online) 1613-4087, ISSN (Print) 0341-2059, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/commun-2019-2025.

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