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Voters and Voting in ContextMultiple Contexts and the Heterogeneous German Electorate$
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Harald Schoen, Sigrid Roßteutscher, Rüdiger Schmitt-Beck, Bernhard Weßels, and Christof Wolf

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198792130

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198792130.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 May 2021

TV Debates in Media Contexts: How and When Do TV Debates Have an Effect on Learning Processes?

TV Debates in Media Contexts: How and When Do TV Debates Have an Effect on Learning Processes?

Chapter:
(p.71) 4 TV Debates in Media Contexts: How and When Do TV Debates Have an Effect on Learning Processes?
Source:
Voters and Voting in Context
Author(s):

Aiko Wagner

Elena Werner

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198792130.003.0004

This chapter examines the effect of TV debates on political knowledge conditioned by the media context. We argue that TV debates take place in a wider media context and the extent of citizens’ learning processes about issue positions depends also on the informational context in general. We test four hypotheses: while the first three hypotheses concern the conditional impact of media issue coverage and debate content, the last hypothesis addresses the differences between incumbent and challenger. Using media content analyses and panel survey data, our results confirm the hypotheses that (1) when an issue is addressed in a TV debate, viewers tend to develop a perception of the parties’ positions on this issue, but (2) only if this issue has not been addressed extensively in the media beforehand. This learning effect about parties’ positions is bigger for the opposition party.

Keywords:   TV debate, media content, media coverage, learning, policy positions

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