Research Note: The Influence of the Press in Shaping Public Opinion towards the European Union in Britain
Existing research finds that European citizens evaluate the EU according to the perceived costs and benefits of integration. Instead of assuming that cue-givers provide an informational role in this process, we investigate the direct effects of positive and negative EU messages from prominent cue-givers, including political parties and the media. Using the 2001 British Election Study, we examine the impact of the main political parties and newspapers on public attitudes towards membership of the EU and the prospect of joining the single European currency. During the 2001 British General Election campaign, the media and the main political parties had small independent effects on attitudes towards EU membership and the potential adoption of the single European currency. When voters receive the same messages from both their party and their newspaper, these effects are considerable.
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