In the eye of the beholder

Autor(en)
Jörg Matthes, Desiree Schmuck, Christian von Sikorski
Abstrakt

The hostile media phenomenon (HMP) refers to a process in which supporters and opponents of an issue perceive the identical coverage to be biased against their own views. Despite the relevance of visual communication in our field, scholars have treated hostile media perceptions as a text-based phenomenon ignoring the unique role of visuals. This paper makes the case for a visual hostile media phenomenon (VHMP). The VHMP posits that completely balanced pictures are perceived as biased both by opponents and supporters of an issue. Two experimental studies on the Israel–Palestine conflict provide clear evidence for this reasoning. Study 1 shows that Palestine (Israel) supporters perceived a balanced photo series as biased toward Israel (Palestine) irrespective of the series’ reach. This effect was also visible for clearly slanted pro-Israel and pro-Palestine pictures (i.e., relative VHMP). Study 2 replicates these findings and sheds some first light on the underlying mechanism. Theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.

Organisation(en)
Institut für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft
Externe Organisation(en)
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Universität Koblenz-Landau
Journal
Communication Research (CR)
Anzahl der Seiten
25
ISSN
0093-6502
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1177/00936502211018596
Publikationsdatum
2021
Peer-reviewed
Ja
ÖFOS 2012
508007 Kommunikationswissenschaft, 508014 Publizistik
Schlagwörter
ASJC Scopus Sachgebiete
Communication, Language and Linguistics, Linguistics and Language
Link zum Portal
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/de/publications/in-the-eye-of-the-beholder(c3a8b5ba-cd0a-4970-8aa9-01d3f49909d0).html