Environmental Orientations and News Coverage: Examining the Impact of Individual Differences and Narrative News
This study examined the impact of narrative environmental news on issue and message attitudes, and the extent to which such attitudes might be moderated by individuals’ environmental orientations. We conducted an experiment in which we asked participants to read either a narrative or informational newspaper article on the environmental consequences of shale gas drilling. Individuals’ environmental orientations were measured a week before the experiment. Results indicated significant interaction effects between news formats and individuals’ environmental orientations on transportation, positive cognitive responses, sympathy, and issue attitudes. Those who were more concerned about the environment were more affected by narrative news than those less concerned. These findings suggest that news narratives have stronger effects when they resonate with individuals’ predispositions.