Title: Criminal Justice Faculty Publishes Peer-Reviewed Article
The paper “News Media and Public Attitudes toward the Protests of 2020: An Examination of the Mediating Role of Perceived Protester Violence” was authored by Dr. Andrew Baranauskas and published in the peer-reviewed journal Criminology and Public Policy.
This study investigates the role of the news media in shaping attitudes toward the protests of 2020. Using data from a nationally representative election survey, it examines the association between news consumption and support for law-and-order policies to address protest violence, with perceptions that the protesters were violent as a potential mediator. Findings indicate that viewers of online news are less likely to support law-and-order policies. This relationship is mediated by perceived protester violence, with perceived violence enhancing support for law-and-order policies. Further examination shows that political bias plays a role: viewers of left-leaning sites are less likely to support law-and-order policies to address protest violence, while viewers of right-leaning sites are more likely. These relationships are also mediated by perceived violence.