First, some good news for journalism: Overall, trust in the media has risen since the presidential election. Then the bad news: Polarization between Democrats and Republicans is greater than ever, with Republicans and supporters of President Donald Trump having far more negative attitudes toward the media than Democrats and Trump opponents.
These and more findings are in a Poynter Media Trust Survey conducted and analyzed by Andrew Gess, Princeton University; Brendan Nyhan, Dartmouth College; and Jason Reifler, University of Exeter. Read this piece in Poynter by Craig Silverman on the survey, and the full survey results here.
US public has strongest concern about media bias
People in the U.S. have the strongest concern about bias in the media among people in nine countries in a survey analysis conducted by the Reuters Institute and the University of Oxford titled: “Bias, Bullshit and Lies: Audience Perspectives on Low Trust in the Media.” Study authors Nic Newman and Richard Fletcher also note that those on the right side of the political spectrum in the U.S. are three times more likely to mistrust the news media than those on the left. Newman and Fletcher recommend that, to increase trust, news media should do a better job of labeling facts differently from opinion, increasing the quality of news and minimizing clickbait, and pursuing strategies to ensure media is both representative of the population as a whole and available to all. Read the full report.
Tweet the one you’re with
Meanwhile, when it comes to political tweets, people not only retweet people they agree with, but are more likely to do so if the message includes emotionally charged language, conclude a group of New York University researchers in a study of more than half a million tweets published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: “We observed that the presence of moral-emotional words in messages increased their diffusion by a factor of 20% for each additional word.” Read this story on the study by Quartz reporter Olivia Goldhill, and the online abstract. (Full study is behind a paywall.) In the figure above, the authors illustrate how tweets on these subjects stay within red (conservative) and blue (liberal) networks.