November 29, 2023

Drilling Down: The Partisan Corners of the News

Almost as many Americans now receive their political campaign news from the Internet as from newspapers, with nearly a quarter getting the bulk of their information on the 2010 midterm elections that way, according to a Pew Internet report.

 Online news tends to be partisan, and 55 percent say they believe that the Internet increases the influence of those with extreme views, compared with 30 percent who think it has mitigated such perspectives by giving “ordinary citizens a chance to be heard.”  Forty-four percent of Republicans usually get political news from online sources that share their point of view, versus 37 percent of Democrats.

 The report also examined changes in television news, which garners similar heavily partisan audiences. Fox News Channel viewership skews 47 percent Republican to 15 percent Democrat, whereas the three major networks and CNN all have at least 50 percent more Democrat viewers than Republican.  Fox News was the only individual outlet to notably increase its share of viewers from 2006 to 2010.

 “In recent years we have noticed a distinct increase in the number of Americans getting online news from sites that share their own political views, particularly among those with strong ideological leanings,” said Aaron Smith, senior research specialist for Pew. TEDDY WAYNE

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