Does Media Exposure Affect Voting Behaviour and Political Preferences in India?

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Analysing the National Election Study data from 1996 to 2014, this paper examines the effect of media exposure on Indian elections to reach four main conclusions. First, in the last two decades, Indian electorates have been more exposed to the media than ever before. Second, in the 2014 elections, electorates with higher media exposure were more likely to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party. Third, voters with higher media exposure were more likely to vote for the BJP in previous Lok Sabha elections as well, and, in that sense, the 2014 elections were no different. Fourth, media exposure influenced the political preferences of people. It also finds that electorates with higher media exposure were more likely to support economic liberalisation, but that it made no difference on social conservatism.
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