A mixed report: The effects of strategic and substantive news content on political cynicism and voting

Communications 37 (2):153-172 (2012)
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Abstract

This article examines the effects of strategic and substantive news on political cynicism, turnout intention and voter uncertainty, drawing on two experiments. We found that among less politically knowledgeable citizens, all news mobilizes, but strategic news also induces cynicism. For the more knowledgeable citizens, we found that the combination of strategic and substantive news yields slightly less cynicism and that substantive news makes these citizens reconsider their voting choice. Overall, we only found favorable or neutral effects among the more knowledgeable, while we found both favorable and unfavorable effects among the less knowledgeable. The implications for news effects research are discussed.

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