News Consumption, Distrust in Government, and Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in the EU
Recent events, such as Brexit and the 2016 U.S. presidential election, revealed a rise in right-wing populism, polarization, and anti-immigrant sentiment in many western nations. In tandem, countries around the world have reported historic lows in constituents’ trust for traditional government institutions. Building on studies that explore media and public opinion, I use data from the Eurobarometer 86.2 to estimate a series of statistical models to explore the relationship between alternative news consumption, distrust in traditional government institutions, and anti-immigrant sentiment in the European Union. Through cross-sectional data, I was able to determine that perceived trust in alternative news sources, specifically social media networks, is associated with anti-immigrant sentiment in the European Union. For individuals who also distrust government, there is a slightly higher level of anti-immigrant sentiment.
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