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Back to Paper Details
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Internet Effects in Times of Political Crisis: Online News-Gathering and Attitudes Towards the European Union

Matthew Wall
Swansea University
Matthew Wall
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Matthew Wall
Swansea University

Abstract

This paper evaluates the influence of online news consumption on attitudes towards the European Union. It does so in a context of protracted economic crisis, where citizens may apportion blame to a variety of actors and institutions. Using data from the 2011 Irish National Election Study, we find that Irish citizens who source political information online are more prone to blame the EU for the poor state of the economy than those who do not. This effect is strong among those with negative predispositions towards the EU, whereas it is not significant among pro-EU citizens. We complement this analysis with a study of voting behavior in the European Fiscal Compact referendum, employing a similar methodological approach. Results from this second survey confirm the anti-EU influence of online news consumption among Irish citizens.