Comparative Perspectives on the Link Between News Media Consumption and Attitudes Toward Immigrants: Evidence From Europe, the United States, and Colombia

David De Coninck, Willem Joris, Maria Duque, Seth J. Schwartz, Leen d'Haenens


In recent years, attitudes toward immigrants have been negative among the populations in Europe and the Americas. One of the forces shaping these attitudes is exposure to news media. Public and commercial news media, operating in different media systems, frame immigrants in different ways and influence attitudes toward immigrants. In this study, we analyzed how news media consumption is associated with individuals’ attitudes toward immigrants in a large sample of the adult population in seven European countries, the United States, and Colombia (N = 13,645). Findings indicate that consumers of predominantly public television and websites of quality news outlets tend to hold positive attitudes, whereas viewers of predominantly commercial television hold negative attitudes in several countries. Heavy television viewing is linked to more negative attitudes, whereas heavy (digital) newspaper consumption is linked to positive attitudes. These findings are discussed in light of the countries’ media systems and recent migration patterns.


anti-immigrant attitudes, Colombia, cultivation theory, Europe, media audiences, news media consumption, United States

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