My Hero, Your Aggressor: Differences in Perceptions of News Media Brand Personality
Though brand personality has been explored in the context of news media, the literature has yet to systematically examine differences in perceptions of news media brand personality among individuals with differing political ideologies. An analysis of 588 surveys where participants rated either mainstream (n = 200), liberal (n = 192), or conservative (n = 196) news media brands across the dimensions of aggression, heroism, and warmth revealed that while political ideology has little impact on individuals’ perceptions of news media brand personality with regard to mainstream media, significant associations were present for perceptions of liberal and conservative news media. Controlling for education, age, familiarity, and gender, more conservative participants tended to find conservative news outlets less aggressive and more heroic and find liberal outlets more aggressive and less heroic; the differences in these associations were statistically significant. For both liberal outlets and conservative outlets, greater familiarity tended to be associated with higher perceived heroism. Significant gender and race associations are noted in perceptions of warmth. Ramifications in the context of political communication and media management are discussed.