Journalistic challenges to a politician’s race-related policies: Rules for interview appropriateness and perceptions of bias and credibility

Abstract: This study uses a randomized posttest-only between-subjects experiment to investigate the communication rules participants perceive after a journalist interviews a politician about race-related policies. The journalist’s adversarialness (no challengesimple challenge, contextualized challenge) was rated for perceived appropriateness. Social dominance orientation (SDO) was used as a moderator of participant perceptions of the journalist and politician. Overall, SDO weighs more heavily than does level of challenge, with high SDO participants perceiving journalistic challenges as less appropriate.