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Making up Our Minds: Effects of Network Coverage on Viewer Impressions of Leaders

James S. Newton, Roger D. Masters, Gregory J. McHugo and Denis G. Sullivan
Polity
Vol. 20, No. 2 (Winter, 1987), pp. 226-246
DOI: 10.2307/3234781
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3234781
Page Count: 21
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Making up Our Minds: Effects of Network Coverage on Viewer Impressions of Leaders
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Abstract

This article asks the question, Can television journalism change public opinion? Through a controlled experiment in which 100 viewers were shown a presidential debate and its coverage by network news reporters, the authors explore viewer perceptions of the candidates, emotional reactions to them, and their recall of issues. They conclude that viewer opinions were influenced significantly by both the instant analysis and evening news reports, though politically more sophisticated viewers proved to be less affected by them than were their more naive counterparts.

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