We are grateful to the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania for enabling the collection of data used in this study. We would also like to thank the editors of the American Journal of Political Science for their helpful comments and suggestions.
Televised Exposure to Politics: New Measures for a Fragmented Media Environment
Version of Record online: 21 JUN 2012
©2012, Midwest Political Science Association
American Journal of Political Science
Volume 57, Issue 1, pages 236–248, January 2013
How to Cite
Dilliplane, S., Goldman, S. K. and Mutz, D. C. (2013), Televised Exposure to Politics: New Measures for a Fragmented Media Environment. American Journal of Political Science, 57: 236–248. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5907.2012.00600.x
- Issue online: 2 JAN 2013
- Version of Record online: 21 JUN 2012
For many research purposes, scholars need reliable and valid survey measures of the extent to which people have been exposed to various kinds of political content in mass media. Nonetheless, good measures of media exposure, and of exposure to political television in particular, have proven elusive. Increasingly fragmented audiences for political television have only made this problem more severe. To address these concerns, we propose a new way of measuring exposure to political television and evaluate its reliability and predictive validity using three waves of nationally representative panel data collected during the 2008 presidential campaign. We find that people can reliably report the specific television programs they watch regularly, and that these measures predict change over time in knowledge of candidate issue positions, a much higher standard of predictive validity than any other measure has met to date.