Partisan evaluation: Examining how partisan media and political elites affect the credibility of government performance


Citizens’ evaluation on government performance might be biased toward partisanship of information sources. Yet, how news media and political elites together shape public perceptions are largely overlooked. To fill in this gap, we conduct a between- subject survey experiment (N=1,100) in Taiwan to examine the interaction effects of partisan media and politicians’ judgments on the credibility of government performance related to native language education programs. We find that government and opposition partisans both would rate government performance information paired with bipartisan endorsement as less credible when the reporting news media is politically incongruent than the one is politically congruent. On the other hand, we do not obtain a similar source effect when news coverage tells that government performance information is challenged by the opposition party elites. But as compared to those who read about government performance information and are not aware of opposition party elites’ judgement and news sources, government and opposition partisans would both become skeptical about performance information in the government-leaning media. These findings support an asymmetric influence of partisan media on public perceptions, advancing our understanding of the role of news media in political communication and polarization.

Chien-shih Huang
Chien-shih Huang
Assitant Professor

My research interests include executive turnover, collaborative governance, and environmental policy.