Johanna Dunaway from LSU will speak on the relationship between media fragmentation, elite polarization, and partisan-ideological sorting.
Divided by Media? Examining Links between Media Fragmentation and Choice, Elite Polarization, and Sorting
What is the relationship between media fragmentation, elite polarization, and partisan-ideological sorting? Scholars find that the growth and availability of partisan media—afforded through the expansion of cable, satellite, and Internet penetration--encourages selective exposure behaviors, which shape the consistency and extremity of individuals’ political attitudes. At the same time, a growing literature demonstrates that elite polarization facilitates political identification by providing important cues for the mass public. Using metrics that capture national and subnational variation in cable, satellite, and internet penetration, we assess the relative influence of elite polarization and media fragmentation on partisan-ideological sorting.
Johanna Dunaway is an associate professor of political science and mass communication at Louisiana State University. She has written extensively on the relationship between the structural and contextual features of media outlets and news content. Within this research program, she has examined news coverage of political campaigns, immigration, and events such as the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to this primary research focus, she has drawn upon and published in numerous other areas, including public opinion, political behavior, and political advertising. Her work appears in journals such as the Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Political Communication, Political Behavior, and Social Science Quarterly.