Political polarization, as an increasingly popular topic, has gained momentum over the past a few decades not only in scholarly publications but also in public discussions. The United States, in many people’s eyes, has never been less united since the Civil War (Pew Research Center, 2019). The nation has become fractured along partisan and ideological positions: Republican vs. Democrats, Liberal vs. Conservative, Red vs. Blue, etc. When it comes to what causes such a disappointing political phenomenon, one of the major academic focuses lies on media effects. A plethora of previous studies revealed that bad journalism should be primarily responsible for the political dividedness among the public in the U.S. (Levendusky & Malhotra, 2016). However, I argue that it is not so much media effects as the diverging parties that lead and continuously increase the political polarization in the American public; furthermore, journalism can be a potential cure to moderate the political discussion as an effective method toward the reunion of the whole nation.

Keyword: political polarization, partisan identity, media effect