Testing Public Reactions to Mass-Protest Hybrid Media Events: A Rolling Cross-Sectional Study of International Women’s Day in Spain

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Oxford University Press
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The configuration of protests as hybrid media events not only enables them to reach wider audiences but also favors the transformation of those audiences into active publics. In this increasingly common scenario, our study proposes a set of indicators to scrutinize how the public reacts during such hybrid media events, and to test such reactions in light of the mass protests that took place in Spain to mark the 2019 International Women’s Day (IWD). We analyze a nationally representative survey sample collected through daily tracking over 20 days before and after the 2019 IWD. Findings confirm the ability of hybrid media protests to broaden their audience, generate interest, spark conversations on gender inequality, and contribute to opinion conformation. They also reveal that some of these reactions were conditioned by prior exposure to similar events and by gender. Our study contributes to a recent line of research testing the influence of protests on the public and shows the possibilities of using rolling cross-sectional designs to capture those effects. The study also contributes to the discussion on the political significance of these mass protests as hybrid media events.
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This work was supported by the Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades [CSO2017-84861-P].
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Public Opinion Quarterly, Volume 86, Issue 3, Fall 2022, Pages 597–620
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