Influence of Fake News Exposure on Perceived Media Bias: The Moderating Role of Party Identity

Alberto Ardèvol-Abreu


The phenomenon of fake news encompasses fabricated news-like content, but also the circulation of fake news-related narratives, and the (mis)use of the label to denigrate legitimate media. Building on this interdependent system of meanings, this article uses two-wave U.S. survey data (NW1 = 1,338; NW2 = 511) to examine the possible influence of (self-assessed) exposure to fake news content on general perceptions of media bias. The study also tested the moderating effects of party identity and strength of partisanship on the relationship between (self-assessed) fake news exposure and media bias perceptions. The results provide (a) strong support for (self-assessed) fake news exposure as a positive predictor of general perceptions of media bias (in cross-sectional, lagged, and autoregressive analyses) and (b) weak support for an interaction effect between (self-assessed) fake news exposure and Republican party identification on general evaluations of media bias (not robust across models).


fake news exposure, media bias perception, party identity, strength of partisanship, journalism, social media

Full Text: