Knowing More from Less: How the Information Environment Increases Knowledge of Party Positions
Banducci, Susan A.
British Journal of Political Science
Cambridge University Press
Access to information is a hallmark of democracy and democracy demands an informed citizenry. Knowledge of party positions is necessary for voters so that electoral choices reflect preferences allowing voters to hold elected officials accountable for policy performance. Whereas most vote choice models assume parties perfectly transmit positions, we know that citizens obtain political information via the news media and this news coverage can be biased in terms of salience leading to asymmetric information. Our study examines how information asymmetries in news coverage of parties influence knowledge about political party positions. Our findings show that the availability of information in the news media about a party increases knowledge about its position and party information in non-quality news reduces the knowledge gap more than quality news.
Economic and Social Research Council
Austrian Science Fund
Vol. forthcoming, pp. 1 - 38