Less critical and less informed: undecided voters’ media (dis)engagement during Israel’s April 2019 elections

Tal Samuel-Azran, Moran Yarchi, Tsahi Hayat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The growing number of undecided voters has attracted a lot of interest due to its important role in determining election results. Many studies have addressed the media consumption of undecideds but few have examined the role of undecideds’ attitudes towards the media institution. This paper is innovative in its attempt to address the issue of the role of media trust in undecided versus decided voters’ media engagement, based on a survey (N =1427) followed by a multivariate analysis during the Israeli April 2019 elections campaign. The analysis revealed that although decided voters have more doubt in the accuracy of the news media, they still consume more news from more diverse sources, highlighting decideds as more critical and simultaneously more informed than undecideds. A parallel experiment (N =121) identified that undecideds tended to rank a fake news item shared by one of their Facebook friends as credible significantly more often than decideds, demonstrating undecideds’ lower critical ability to identify misinformation. The present study highlights the under-explored roles of undecideds (mis)trust of the news media and high susceptibility to believe fake news items, thus adding new evidence to the notion that elections are often won by the least informed and least critical citizens. We discuss the grim implications of our findings to current literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1752-1768
Number of pages17
JournalInformation Communication and Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Facebook
  • Undecideds
  • elections
  • epistemic bubbles
  • media trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Less critical and less informed: undecided voters’ media (dis)engagement during Israel’s April 2019 elections'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this