Satirical news may impact your political attitudes, efficacy

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New York, Jan 24 (IANS) Love to watch satirical news programmes? It may have a serious impact on your political attitudes and efficacy, a new research has suggested.

The finding showed that people chose satirical news -- often dismissed as mere entertainment -- that matched their pre-existing attitudes such as liberal or conservative.

"Satirical news matters. It is not just entertaining -- it has a real-life impact on viewers as serious news and it reinforces your political attitudes," said Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, professor at The Ohio State University.

Watching satirical news also affects feelings of political efficacy -- people's belief that they can influence political processes -- as much as watching serious news.

The study further showed that people with little interest in politics were more likely to select satirical over serious news. 

"Satirical news can engage people who otherwise would avoid political news and could act as a gateway into more serious news use for people who aren't currently engaged in politics," Knobloch-Westerwick added in a paper published in the Journal of Communication.

For the study, the team involved 146 college students who selected news clips -- that were liberal, conservative, satirical and serious -- to watch concerning climate change, gun control and immigration.

The results showed that regardless of whether they viewed the serious or the satirical news clips, participants' political views were strengthened if they viewed videos that agreed with their original beliefs.

Author: Super User
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