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The use of evidence in public debates in the media: the case of Swiss direct-democratic campaigns in the health policy sector

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This article analyses the reporting of evidence in Swiss direct-democratic campaigns in the health policy sector, assuming that an informed public helps democracy function successfully. A content analysis of the media's news reporting shows that of 5030 media items retrieved, a reference to evidence is found in 6.8%. The voter receives evidence in the form of substantiating arguments, equally distributed among proponents and opponents. Experts have the highest chance of providing evidence, but appear most rarely. Integrating more evidence might provide voters with the diversity of arguments needed to make a truly informed decision.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: November 1, 2016

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