This study investigates the association between news exposure and attitudes/beliefs about a Dutch road pricing proposal (Kilometerheffing) with individual level data. We have combined the data from a public attitude survey (N = 705) with a content analysis of 280 news articles on the pricing proposal published in five leading Dutch newspapers. Our findings show that news exposure and attitudes/beliefs about road pricing policies are associated not only at the aggregate level, as shown by past research, but also at the individual level. The direction of attitudes/beliefs and tone of news change in the same direction (e.g., the higher the amount of negative news exposed, the more negative the attitudes towards Kilometerheffing). Our findings also show that the significance and direction of association (in parallel with or opposite to the tone of news—negative or positive) changes according to the issue featured in the news and the strength of the individual’s values. News exposure is not associated with beliefs about the impact of Kilometerheffing on one’s own financial situation but rather with beliefs about the impact of Kilometerheffing on the environment and congestion. Furthermore, the strength of the biospheric value (which concerns the quality of nature and environment) negatively moderates the relationship between news exposure and beliefs about the impact of Kilometerheffing on environment-congestion.
- Road pricing