Religion in the Media
A Study of Student Perception of Media Bias in Georgia
Georgia is fighting to make the step from a developing to developed country and the influence of the Georgian Orthodox Church has been identified as a barricade for European Union leadership to accept Georgia into the supranational organization. This research investigates the relationship between religiosity and the perception of media bias among college students in Tbilisi, Georgia. It was hypothesized that the relationship between religiosity and perception of media bias will be negative, as measured by a survey administered to students. The data was analyzed by running regressions and t-tests in SPSS to compare variables such as frequency of news consumption, trustworthiness of news media, religiosity, and religious affiliation. This paper proves the more religious a student is, the less likely he or she will recognize a media bias towards the Georgian Orthodox Church. Students who are more religious use and trust domestic news sources more than those who are less religious. The implications from this research are that religiosity plays a role in how students are viewing the news and that religious affiliation can alter how someone critically analyzes the information put forth. Those who are more religious have a tendency to search for confirmation bias while those who are not are more critical of domestic news media.