Study: Decline of traditional media feeds polarization

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Study: Decline of traditional media feeds polarization


Post by DejaMoo » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:18 pm

Study: Decline of traditional media feeds polarization
Together, the decline of stable platforms of production and social-media-driven feedback loops enfeeble the setting of what social scientists call a “common public agenda.” 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. That can lead to unexpected and potentially destabilizing behavior in politics and markets.

Discussing fragmentation, Boczkowski and Mitchelstein drew attention to one further impact. “The erosion of the agenda-setting influence of mainstream media organizations could lead to the disappearance of broadly shared national concerns,” they state, “thus diminishing the ability of the public to come together on common issues and maximizing social polarization.”

There is strong empirical evidence to suggest that fragmentation feeds polarization. I went in search of evidence to support this contention in studies and reports. The superficiality of the debate on the social media is another catalyst. People want shortcuts (velocity being a key trait of the current informational environment) to rapid “Likes” or “Dislikes,” and this further impoverishes the debate by eradicating all semblance of nuance.

One of the most frequently mentioned examples of polarization is the herd mentality of the peer group. However, this cliquish online behavior is not true only of digital publications. The so-called traditional media have also waded into the fracas. Markus Prior, in Media and Political Polarization, writes that the traditional media’s reaction to the social media is, in a sense, an attempt to “compete” with these new platforms by jumping on all the same bandwagons.
Mainstream media doesn't exist anymore. There's only corporate media, local media and social media.
I've heard this bull before.

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Re: Study: Decline of traditional media feeds polarization


Post by noblepa » Thu Sep 29, 2016 11:32 am

IMHO, one of the worst things to ever happen to tv and radio news, perhaps THE worst, was to institute ratings for them. This is a relatively recent thing,

Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley and other greats in the mid-twentieth century media never had to worry about ratings. They simply had to worry about reporting the news as accurately as possible.

The news organizations within the major networks were not considered to be profit centers. They were considered to be a public service and a civic duty.

Now, Bill O'Reilly brags about how Fox's (and his) ratings are high, as if that means he is right.

I don't think that 24 hour news networks perform a service, either. They have too much time to fill on days when little of significance has happened. I include CNN in that opinion, just as much as Fox News.

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