Thursday, March 28, 2019

Why Losing Our Newspapers Is Breaking Our Politics | Scientific American

Bad news
"Last month, staffers at The Daily Camera in Boulder, Colorado, experienced the latest low point in the American newspaper business: days after mourning the loss of their editor, Kevin Kaufman, their owner (the hedge-fund-owned Digital First Media) announced another round of painful layoffs. The past few decades have been similarly tragic for American local media: longstanding newspapers, big and small, have closed in unprecedented numbers; Americans are turning away from local news sources and towards online and nationally televised programs to learn about politics; and even local television news is focusing on national partisanship and politics, as Sinclair Broadcasting acquires more affiliates.
At the same time, American voters and political elites are more polarized than ever. Republicans and Democrats occupy not only their own ideological camps, but also their own sets of basic facts, regardless of whether those facts rooted in reality. American politics is trapped in a feedback loop that reinforces polarization in the mass public: media coverage of polarization increases citizens’ dislike of the opposite party, and new research shows that people go beyond relying on party cues as a cognitive shortcut: They consider partisanship a central part of their identity and put effort into expressing it. For example, evangelical Christians tend to identify as conservative Republicans, but recent work shows that partisans actually sort themselves into the religious affiliation that matches their politics."
Why Losing Our Newspapers Is Breaking Our Politics | Scientific American

No comments: