Political Power Sharing and Crosscutting Media Exposure: How Institutional Features Affect Exposure to Different Views
Previous research shows that power-sharing political systems are associated with (a) individual perceptions of political inclusiveness and (b) a more deliberative news media supply. Little, however, is known about the effect of this institutional feature on exposure to crosscutting views through the media. We posit that political systems provide different degrees of institutional power and public visibility to political parties and minorities, and this difference affects crosscutting news exposure. Survey data from three countries (N = 5,500 individuals) show that media contribute more to crosscutting exposure in a consensus system (Italy) than a polarized pluralist variant of majoritarianism (Spain), or a hegemonic illiberal democracy (Mexico). Additionally, analyses reveal that minority views are positively correlated with crosscutting media exposure in a consensus system and a polarized pluralist variant of majoritarianism, but not in a hegemonic system. These findings suggest that certain political system characteristics can override the tendency for selective exposure.