Cable news media’s influence on climate change beliefs: A partisan comparison




media effects, selective media exposure, source credibility, media credibility, trust in science


The current, fragmented media landscape coupled with partisan views toward scientific issues has made it difficult for members of the public to achieve mutual understanding toward critical issues like climate change. Selective media exposure, media’s credibility in reporting science and reporting climate change, trust in science, along with demographic characteristics of consumers are all expected to influence the public’s belief in climate change. However, effects may differ across partisan lines. The purpose of this study was to understand how cable news media influences Illinois residents’ beliefs in climate change across political ideological groups. An online survey was completed by 506 respondents, and respondents were categorized as conservative, moderate, or liberal based on a political ideology question. Differences were noted between political groups for variables of interest. Most notably, liberals believed more in climate change compared to conservatives or moderates. Cable news use also followed party lines, and regression analyses found the media influenced climate change beliefs disproportionately across the political groups; conservatives were influenced the most. Trust in science was a positive predictor for all three groups; however, only conservatives and moderates were directly influenced by cable news media use.


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How to Cite

Ruth, T., & Colclasure, B. (2023). Cable news media’s influence on climate change beliefs: A partisan comparison. Advancements in Agricultural Development, 4(2), 20–33.