Media Framing and the Dynamics of Racial Policy Preferences
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Why are there liberal and conservative eras in Americans' policy preferences about race? In answering this question, I first develop a time-series measure of aggregate racial policy preferences by compiling multiple indicators of racial policy preferences into a single composite measure. Next, I propose a new model in which shifts in the tenor of media coverage of race - focusing on the core values of egalitarianism and individualism at different times - leads the public to prefer more or less active government policies on race. I test the model using data from Newsweek magazine and include appropriate controls for potentially confounding factors, such as generational replacement, policy mood, feedback from the policy process, and economic sentiment.
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