Watching the News and Support for Democracy: Why Media Systems Matter Academic Article uri icon


  • ObjectiveWe explore whether the effect of watching television on support for democracy is contingent on the type of media system. In countries with welldeveloped public broadcasting systems, watching television news should enhance support for democracy. In more marketoriented systems with more superficial and episodic news content, watching television news should weaken democratic attachments.MethodsWe utilize Wave 6 of the World Values Survey to investigate the relationship between watching television news and support for democracy in the United States, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands.ResultsWatching television news in public broadcasting systems increases the importance one places on living in a democracy and evaluations of democratic governance. Watching television news in marketoriented systems increases support for authoritarian political systems.ConclusionThe effect of watching television news on democratic attitudes is contingent on media system. Public broadcasting systems enhance democratic attitudes while marketoriented systems weaken these democratic attachments.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 4.7

author list (cited authors)

  • Goidel, K., Gaddie, K., & Ehrl, M.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Goidel, Kirby||Gaddie, Keith||Ehrl, Marco

publication date

  • September 2017