Making the Most of Migration Conference location:Brussels date:23 May 2014
Recently a consensus is rising that television effects on civic attitudes should be studied as multidimensional phenomena, disentangling the effects of specific television type and content. This study aims to expand current knowledge by systematically assessing the differential impact of television type and content on anti-immigrant sentiments. Adopting a comparative approach, we use data from the six waves of the European Social Survey (ESS) to assess the impact of individual and aggregate level patterns of television use on anti-immigrant sentiments in European societies. Overall individual television viewing time is positively associated with anti-immigrant sentiments, while frequent exposure to news and information programs seems to counterbalance this effect. At the aggregate level the results show that in societies with higher market shares for public broadcasting stations generally anti-immigrant sentiments are lower. We can conclude that strong public broadcasting stations continue to exert an important gatekeeping role in democratic societies by fostering civic attitudes.