“Ideology and partisanship used to be completely unrelated to the television news people consumed,” said study author Barry Hollander, associate professor of journalism in the UGA Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. “But they’ve become significant factors in the last five years.”
Hollander analyzed five national telephone surveys conducted from 1998 to 2006 by the Pew Center for the People and the Press, and his results are scheduled to appear in the spring edition of the journal Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly.
The study found that in 1998, 18 percent of Democrats and 14 percent of Republicans watched Fox News regularly. By 2006, 36 percent of Republicans watched Fox News regularly compared to 19 percent of Democrats.
The trend for CNN over the same period shows a dramatic drop in exposure to CNN for Republicans – from 27 percent to 19 percent – while Democrats have remained fairly stable, with exposure rates of 25 percent and 29 percent in 1998 and 2006, respectively.
“Republicans have dramatically dropped news sources that they perceive as being biased against their position,” Hollander said. “They’ve completely fled into Fox and have left CNN, broadcast news and all the others – including CSPAN, which is raw content.”
In addition to finding that news audiences have fragmented along party lines, Hollander’s study found that individuals who do not identify strongly with either the Republican or Democratic Party are watching less news. Hollander said his finding is not surprising considering that the average consumer now has more than 100 channels from which to choose.
“What we are seeing now is the natural product of technology allowing people who never really have been interested in the news to find something else to do with their time,” Hollander said. “And what’s left is a fairly partisan red-state/blue-state news audience.”
Hollander said the increased partisanship of news audiences encourages networks to cater to the political preferences of their audiences – which in turn is likely to accelerate the trend toward politically divided audiences. Fox’s model of appealing to conservative audiences through commentators such as Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity is “obvious and overt,” Hollander said, while CNN’s efforts to appeal to more liberal audiences is reflected in the stories it chooses to report. CNN has spent an inordinate amount of time covering the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, for example.
Previous studies have shown that people who are not regular consumers of news are less likely to vote, meaning that the voting public is more likely to be comprised of partisans who get their information from news sources that reflect their beliefs.
“When you spend time consuming media that already agrees with your viewpoint, you’re really just talking to yourself,” Hollander said. “And we know from other research that the more you hear your viewpoint echoed and reinforced, the more extreme your viewpoint can become. That changes how politicians appeal to voters, the news coverage of electoral politics and probably the kind of candidates we get.”
Sam Fahmy | EurekAlert!
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
22.05.2018 | Life Sciences
22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News