Large-scale quantitative evidence of media impact on public opinion toward China

Junming Huang, Gavin G. Cook, Yu Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Do mass media influence people’s opinions of other countries? Using BERT, a deep neural network-based natural language processing model, this study analyzes a large corpus of 267,907 China-related articles published by The New York Times since 1970. The output from The New York Times is then compared to a longitudinal data set constructed from 101 cross-sectional surveys of the American public’s views on China, revealing that the reporting of The New York Times on China in one year explains 54% of the variance in American public opinion on China in the next. This result confirms hypothesized links between media and public opinion and helps shed light on how mass media can influence the public opinion of foreign countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number181
JournalHumanities and Social Sciences Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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