Three Way Inforamtion Flow Between the President, News Media, and the Public
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Regarding presidential responsiveness and leadership, this study addresses two questions: Does the president respond to the public? Does the president lead the public? Unlike prior research, this study tries to answer these questions by focusing on the news media intervening in the relationship between the president and the public. Rather than positing a direct relationship between them, this study points out that information flows between the president and the public through the news media, which affect the president and the public. The public receives daily political information including presidential messages from the news media. Also, presidents recognize public sentiments from news stories. Accordingly, this study examines the potentially multidirectional relationships between the three actors from 1958 to 2004 in the United States. This study estimates the reciprocal relationships between the three actors by using Vector Autoregression (VAR) and Moving Average Response (MAR) simulations. Analyzing the three actors' issue stances, this study reveals that the news media significantly influence the public and the president. However, the direct relationship between the president and the public is negligible. Furthermore, the empirical findings demonstrate that presidential responsiveness is more likely to be observed when the news media report news stories consonant with past public opinion changes.
Lee, Han Soo (2009). Three Way Inforamtion Flow Between the President, News Media, and the Public. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from