author={Sarah Schneider-Strawczynski and Jérôme Valette},
title={Media Coverage of Immigration and the Polarization of Attitudes},
type={Working Papers},
This paper investigates the effect of media coverage on immigration attitudes. It combines data on immigration coverage in French television with individual panel data from 2013 to 2017 that records respondents’ preferred television channel and attitudes toward immigration. The analysis focuses on within-individual variations over time, addressing ideological self-selection into channels. We find that increased coverage of immigration polarizes attitudes, with initially moderate individuals becoming more likely to report extremely positive and negative attitudes. This polarization is mainly driven by an increase in the salience of immigration, which reactivates preexisting prejudices, rather than persuasion effects from biased news consumption.
keywords={Immigration ; Media ; Polarization ; Salience}