This research assesses possible associations between viewing fake news (i.e., political satire) and attitudes of inefficacy, alienation, and cynicism toward political candidates. Using survey data collected during the 2006 Israeli election campaign, the study provides evidence for an indirect positive effect of fake news viewing in fostering the feelings of inefficacy, alienation, and cynicism, through the mediator variable of perceived realism of fake news. Within this process, hard news viewing serves as a moderator of the association between viewing fake news and their perceived realism. It was also demonstrated that perceived realism of fake news is stronger among individuals with high exposure to fake news and low exposure to hard news than among those with high exposure to both fake and hard news. Overall, this study contributes to the scientific knowledge regarding the influence of the interaction between various types of media use on political effects.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Data collection for this study was funded by the Chaim Herzog Institute for Society and Politics at Tel Aviv University.
- content analysis
- fake news
- political attitudes
- political effects
- political satire