, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 827–848 | Cite as

The association between news and attitudes towards a Dutch road pricing proposal

  • Özgül Ardıç
  • Jan Anne Annema
  • Eric Molin
  • Bert van Wee


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.


Attitudes Beliefs News Media Road pricing Values 



This research was undertaken as part of Innovative Pricing for Sustainable Mobility (i-PriSM) project, funded by The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). The authors thank Assist. Prof. Dr. Jan Willem Bolderdijk and three anonymous reviewers for their useful comments on the draft version of this article.


  1. Adriaansen, M.L., van Praag, P., de Vreese, C.H.: Substance matters: how news content can reduce political cynicism. Int. J. Public Opin. Res. 22(4), 433–457 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. ANP: ‘Zwaar aan de bak’ om klimaatdoelen te halen. Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau. 09 February (2009)Google Scholar
  3. Ardıç, Ö., Annema, J.A., van Wee, B.: The reciprocal relationship between policy debate and media coverage: the case of road pricing policy in the Netherlands. Transp. Res. A Policy Pract. 78, 384–399 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ardıç, Ö., Annema, J.A., van Wee, B.: Has the Dutch news media acted as a policy actor in the road pricing policy debate? Transp. Res. A Policy Pract. 57, 47–63 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Banerjee, M., Capozzoli, M., McSweeney, L., Sinha, D.: Beyond kappa: a review of interrater agreement measures. Can. J. Stat. 27(1), 3–23 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Boomgaarden, H.G., van Spanje, J., Vliegenthart, R., de Vreese, C.H.: Covering the crisis: media coverage of the economic crisis and citizens’ economic expectations. Acta Polit. 46, 353–379 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chaiken, S.: Attitude formation: function and structure. In: Smelser, N.J., Baltes, P.B. (eds.) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, pp. 899–905. Pergamon, Oxford (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Coleman, R., McCombs, M., Shaw, D., Weaver, D.: Agenda setting. In: Wahl-Jorgensen, K., Hanitzsch, T. (eds.) The Handbook of Journalism Studies. Routledge, New York (2009)Google Scholar
  9. Cools, M., Brijs, K., Tormans, H., Moons, E., Janssens, D., Wets, G.: The socio-cognitive links between road pricing acceptability and changes in travel-behavior. Transp. Res. A Policy Pract. 45, 779–788 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dainton, M., Zelley, E.D.: Explaining theories of persuasion. In: Dainton, M., Zelley, E.D. (eds.) Applying Communication Theory for Professional Life: A Practical Introduction. Sage, Thousand Oaks (2005)Google Scholar
  11. De Groot, J.I.M., Steg, L.: Value orientations to explain beliefs related to environmental significant behavior: how to measure egoistic, altruistic, and biospheric value orientations. Environ. Behav. 40, 330–354 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. De Vreese, C.H., Boomgaarden, H.: News, political knowledge and participation: the differential effects of news media exposure on political knowledge and participation. Acta Polit. 41, 317–341 (2006a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. De Vreese, C.H., Boomgaarden, H.G.: Media effects on public opinion about the enlargement of the european union. J. Common Mark. Stud. 44, 419–436 (2006b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Entman, R.M., Matthes, J., Pellicano, L.: Nature, sources, and effects of news framing. In: Wahl-Jorgensen, K., Hanitzsch, T. (eds.) The Handbook of Journalism Studies. Routledge, New York (2009)Google Scholar
  15. Garrison, D.R., Cleveland-Innes, M., Koole, M., Kappelman, J.: Revisiting methodological issues in transcript analysis: negotiated coding and reliability. Internet High. Educ. 9(1), 1–8 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Garz, M.: Unemployment expectations, excessive pessimism, and news coverage. J. Econ. Psychol. 34, 156–168 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gehlert, T., Kramer, C., Nielsen, O.A., Schlag, B.: Socioeconomic differences in public acceptability and car use adaptation towards urban road pricing. Transp. Policy 18, 685–694 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Glynn, A.N., Wakefield, J.: Ecological inference in the social sciences. Stat. Methodol. 7(3), 307–322 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hendriks, F., Tops, P.W.: Politiek en interactief bestuur: interacties en interpretaties rond de ontwikkeling van het Nationaal Verkeers-en Vervoersplan. Elsevier bedrijfsinformatie, The Hague (2001)Google Scholar
  20. Isaksson, K., Richardson, T.: Building legitimacy for risky policies: the cost of avoiding conflict in Stockholm. Transp. Res. A Policy Pract. 43, 251–257 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ison, S., Rye, T.: Implementing road user charging: the lessons learnt from Hong Kong. Camb. Cent. Lond. Transp. Rev. 25, 451–465 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jakovcevic, A., Steg, L.: Sustainable transportation in Argentina: values, beliefs, norms and car use reduction. Transp. Res. F Traffic Psychol. Behav. 20, 70–79 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jaensirisak, S., Wardman, M., May, A.D.: Explaining variations in public acceptability of road pricing schemes. J. Transp. Econ. Policy 39, 127–154 (2005)Google Scholar
  24. Jones, P.: Acceptability of road user charging: meeting the challenge. In: Schade, J., Schlag, B. (eds.) Acceptability of Transport Pricing Strategies, pp. 27–62. Elsevier, Oxford (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kinder, D.R.: Curmudgeonly advice. J. Commun. 57(1), 155–162 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Landis, J.R., Koch, G.G.: The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics 33(1), 159–174 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lecheler, S., Keer, M., Schuck, A.R.T., Hänggli, R.: The effects of repetitive news framing on political opinions over time. Commun. Monogr 82(3), 1–20 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lombard, M., Snyder-Duch, J., Bracken, C.C.: Content analysis in mass communication assessment and reporting of intercoder reliability. Hum. Commun. Res. 28, 587–604 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Manstead, A.S.R.: Attitudes and behavior. In: Smelser, N.J., Baltes, P.B. (eds.) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, pp. 909–913. Pergamon, Oxford (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. McCombs, M.E.: Setting the Agenda: The Mass Media and Public Opinion. Polity. Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge (2004)Google Scholar
  31. McCombs, M., Ghanem, S.I.: The convergence of agenda setting and framing. In: Reese, S.D., Gandy, O.H., Grant, A.E. (eds.) Framing Public Life Perspectives on Media and Our Understanding of the Social World. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah (2001)Google Scholar
  32. NIPO TNS: TNS NIPO base, samenstelling. kwaliteit en kenmerken (2012)Google Scholar
  33. Nunnally, J.C., Bernstein, I.H.: Psychometric Theory. McGraw-Hill, New York (1994)Google Scholar
  34. Oberholzer-Gee, F., Weck-Hannemann, H.: Pricing road use: politico-economic and fairness considerations. Transp. Res. D Transp. Environ. 7, 357–371 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Olson, M.A., Kendrick, R.V.: Attitude formation. In: Ramachandran, V.S. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Human Behavior, 2nd edn, pp. 230–235. Academic Press, San Diego (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Perloff, R.M.: The dynamics of persuasion communication and attitudes in the 21st century. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. (2003)
  37. Perse, E.M.: Media Effects and Society. Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ (2001)Google Scholar
  38. Robinson, W.S.: Ecological correlations and the behavior of individuals. Am. Sociol. Rev. 15(3), 351–357 (1950)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rosenberg, S.W.: Opinion formation. In: Smelser, N.J., Baltes, P.B. (eds.) International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, pp. 909–913. Pergamon, Oxford (2001)Google Scholar
  40. Rourke, L., Anderson, T., Garrison, D.R., Archer, W.: Methodological issues in the content analysis of computer conference transcripts. Int. J. Artif. Intell. Educ. 12, 8–22 (2001)Google Scholar
  41. Rye, T., Gaunt, M., Ison, S.: Edinburgh’s congestion charging plans: an analysis of reasons for non-implementation. Transp. Plan. Technol. 31, 641–661 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Scheufele, D.A., Tewksbury, D.: Framing, agenda setting, and priming: the evolution of three media effects models. J. Commun. 57(1), 9–20 (2007)Google Scholar
  43. Schonewille, M.-L., Vermeer, O.: De auto is politiek onaantastbaar; Met intrekken steun door CDA komt einde aan plan kilometerheffing (2010)Google Scholar
  44. Schuitema, G., Steg, L., Forward, S.: Explaining differences in acceptability before and acceptance after the implementation of a congestion charge in Stockholm. Transp. Res. A Policy Pract. 44(2), 99–109 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schwartz, S.H.: Universals in the Content and Structure of Values: Theoretical Advances and Empirical Tests in 20 Countries. Acacemic Press, San Diego (1992)Google Scholar
  46. Seidel, T., Matthes, A., Wieland, B., Schlag, B., Schade, J., Verhoef, E., Ubbels, B., Tánczos, K., Kosztyó, A., Mészáros, F.: TIPP (Transport Institutions in the Policy Process)—Deliverable 4 Political Acceptability and Perceived Legitimacy of Transport Policy Implementation. European Commission (2004)Google Scholar
  47. Slater, M.D.: Operationalizing and analyzing exposure: the foundation of media effects research. Journalism Mass Commun. Q. 81, 168–183 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Soroka, S.N.: Issue attributes and agenda-setting by media, the public, and policymakers in Canada. Int. J. Public Opin. Res. 14, 264–285 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Steg, L., De Groot, J.I.M., Dreijerink, L., Abrahamse, W., Siero, F.: General antecedents of personal norms, policy acceptability, and intentions: the role of values, worldviews, and environmental concern. Soc. Nat. Resour. 24, 349–367 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Steg, L., Perlaviciute, G., van der Werff, E., Lurvink, J.: The significance of hedonic values for environmentally relevant attitudes, preferences, and actions. Environ. Behav. 46(2), 163–192 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Stern, P.C., Dietz, T.: The value basis of environmental concern. J. Soc. Issues 50, 65–84 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tan, Y.: Agenda-setting effects among newspaper coverage, public opinion and legislative policies. Ph.D. Thesis, Indiana University, Bloomington (2008)Google Scholar
  53. van Keken, K., Witteman, L.: Draai van CDA’er Koopmans is einde van de km-heffing. De Volkskrant. 19 March (2010)Google Scholar
  54. Verhoef, E.T.: Pricing in road transport: A multi-disciplinary perspective. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Vliegenthart, R., Schuck, A.R.T., Boomgaarden, H.G., De Vreese, C.H.: News coverage and support for european integration, 1990–2006. Int. J. Public Opin. Res. 20(4), 415–439 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Vonk Noordegraaf, D., Annema, J.A., van Wee, B.: Policy implementation lessons from six road pricing cases. Transp. Res. A Policy Pract. 59, 172–191 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Weel, I.: CDA trekt steun km-heffing in; Ook minister Eurlings begrijpt dat het eenvoudiger en goedkoper moet. Trouw. 19 March (2010)Google Scholar
  58. Winslott-Hiselius, L., Brundell-Freij, K., Vagland, A., Byström, C.: The development of public attitudes towards the Stockholm congestion trial. Transp. Res. A Policy Pract. 43, 269–282 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Yanovitzky, I., Greene, K.: Quantitative methods and causal inference in media effect research. In: Nabi, R.L., Oliver, M.B. (eds.) The SAGE Handbook of Media Processes and Effects. Sage, Thousand Oaks (2009)Google Scholar
  60. Zaller, J.: The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Zucker, H.G.: The variable nature of new media influence. In: Ruben, B.D. (ed.) Communication Yearbook 2. Transaction Books, New Brunswick (1978)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Özgül Ardıç
    • 1
  • Jan Anne Annema
    • 2
  • Eric Molin
    • 2
  • Bert van Wee
    • 2
  1. 1.Turkish State Railways (TCDD)GarTurkey
  2. 2.Section Transport and Logistics, Faculty of Technology, Policy and ManagementDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations