David Schieferdecker, Hartmut Wessler
Bridging segregation via media exposure? Ingroup identification, outgroup distance, and low direct contact reduce outgroup appearance in media repertoires

Journal of Communication, 2017: 67, issue 6, pp. 993–1014
ISSN: 0021-9916 (print); 1460-2466 (online)

Researchers have started to demonstrate that media exposure to outgroups can reduce prejudice. However, in contexts of segregation a bias to select ingroup-rich media might hinder exposure and prevent those positive effects. We conducted a survey study (n = 1,095) in South Africa, a context with a notorious history of racial separation and persisting informal segregation. In accordance with the social identity gratification approach and social cognitive theory, respondents showed group-related selection biases. Respondents who identified more strongly with their ingroup, who perceived more distance towards outgroups, and who had less direct contact showed stronger biases. The findings remind us that those who would potentially benefit the most from outgroup exposure might also be those who are least likely to be exposed.