Aidan Regan: From herd mentality to echo chamber, the media march on

Research shows that our news sources set the agenda and hone public opinion to a surprising degree, particularly on economic issues. With such subtle and powerful influence comes huge responsibility

23rd August, 2020
Aidan Regan: From herd mentality to echo chamber, the media march on
Casting a long shadow: the media can set the agenda for what is considered to be politically important. The more they focus on an issue, the more people will be thinking and talking about it. Picture: Getty

Do the media shape voter preferences and public opinion? Or do citizens simply self-select the media they consume based on their pre-existing ideological beliefs? The extent to which the media influences public opinion is an ongoing debate in political science. The broad consensus is that the news media cannot determine public opinion and voter preferences, but they can significantly influence it through how they select and frame certain policy issues.

This is particularly the case...

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