Group allegiances and perceptions of media bias: Taking into account both the perceiver and the source

Amarina, Matthew J. Hornsey, Cindy Gallois

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

People have a tendency to view media reports of intergroup conflicts as biased against their own group (hostile media perception). However, limited research has been conducted investigating how group membership of the perceiver and group membership of the media source combine to influence perceptions of bias. Muslims and Christians in Indonesia (N = 212) read an article describing inter-religious conflict. The article was attributed either to a Muslim newspaper, a Christian newspaper, or an unidentified newspaper. Results indicated the hostile media perception only among high identifiers. There was also some evidence for the predicted role of newspaper religion in influencing perceptions of bias: the article was seen to be biased in favor of Muslims when attributed to a Muslim newspaper, biased in favor of Christians when attributed to a Christian newspaper, and intermediate when the newspaper was not identified. The effect of newspaper religion was mediated by prior beliefs of bias. Results are discussed in terms of heuristic explanations of bias perceptions in the media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-279
Number of pages14
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2007

Keywords

  • Hostile media perception
  • Intergroup relations
  • Social identity

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