Study: Decline of Traditional Media Feeds Polarization

Most citizens have access to more community information than ever before, especially online. But the struggle of traditional news outlets, especially the community newspaper with declining budgets and staff members, contributes to fewer informed voters. “[P]eople today are exposed to news mixed with gossip, opinion, hot takes, and branded content, from a variety of sources but often through a single platform – mainly social networks, which tend toward a clustering of like-minded individuals,” writes Ricardo Gandour for Columbia Journalism Review. “Societies suffer if people of different opinions can’t at least agree on a basic set of facts and a consensus on the role in daily life of institutions from government to media.” Gandour studied shrinking traditional platforms in Brazil and found links between digital activity of traditional news and the content produced by state governments. Other studies reveal similar trends in the United States. Standard journalism procedures, including fact-checking and investigations, are neglected and citizen reliance on newspaper reports is fading. Such trends put democracy at risk with greater fragmentation, polarization, government inefficiency and misinformation about the common good. – YaleGlobal

Study: Decline of Traditional Media Feeds Polarization

Decline of newspapers put democracy at risk with greater fragmentation, polarization, government inefficiency and misinformation about the common goo
Ricardo Gandour
Monday, October 3, 2016

Ricardo Gandour is a Brazilian editor and a visiting scholar at Columbia Journalism School.  

© Copyright 2016 Columbia Journalism Review

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