Influence of Prime-Time Television Programming on Perceptions of the Federal Government

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This investigation extends the current body of research on trust in government by examining the effect of the use of nonnews media. Specifically, the study examines the influence of various genres of network television prime-time programming on public perceptions of the federal government. Telephone surveys conducted in March 1999 with a probability sample of 294 adults in a Midwestern community indicate that controlling for sociodemographic influences, people's viewing of specific genres of prime-time television programming exerts a modest, and mixed, influence on perceptions of the federal government.