Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Media's Presentation of Interested Parties in Judicial Elections

Beth Easter, Indiana University, Bloomington, has published Buying Justice: How the Media Frames Interest Group and Political Party Involvement in State Supreme Court Elections, as an APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper. Here is the abstract.

Media coverage of the role of interest groups and political parties in judicial elections has the potential to shape citizens’ attitudes toward the judiciary. By framing the participation of groups in certain ways, the media can influence the way that citizens perceive a problem such as unlimited third party spending and alter their final evaluation of the issues. This paper examines the media frames that are used to explain the participation of groups in judicial elections, and how the groups might have contributed to the development of the media’s frames. An exploratory factor analysis indicated that the elements clustered into four frames: buying justice, polluting elections, politization, and loopholes. Overall, groups were portrayed as having a negative impact on judicial elections and the judiciary. Even if groups were not directly influencing the decision-making of justices, the media’s frames were adding to the perception that justice is for sale.

Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

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