Where do you get your news?

Your answer says a lot about you.

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Before you look at the chart below, jot down the  channels/shows or web pages that you trust as your primary sources for news.

No cheating.

Done?

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OK, now check where your news sources fall along this ideological continuum crafted by Pew Research.

confirmation bias - media ideology
Your news sources align with your political ideology, right?

It’s a psychological dynamic called “confirmation bias” … soliciting and internalizing information that is consistent with one’s current beliefs.

Said differently, confirmation bias is a natural stress-reduction tendency to avoid or resist any information that is contrary to or inconsistent with one’s current thinking.

One of the major solidifiers of our current political polarization is the “echo chamber effect” … we all tend to consult sources and hang with people who share, reinforce and exaggerate our ideological leanings.

So what to do?

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Option #1 is to continue living in our echo chambers and just write off differing views as thoughtless and wacky.

Not a particularly good alternative, right?

Option #2 is to “diversify inputs” … seek out people and sources of contrary information … and try to process that information with a relatively open mind.

For openers, if you’re a conservative, try watching MSNBC and listen, don’t shout obscenities.

If you’re a liberal, try watching Fox News (don’t just read the left-side rants, watch it) or at least glance at the Wall Street Journal (which Pew pegs a bit left of center).

You probably won’t change you mind much, but you may deepen your understanding of the other side …

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#HomaFiles

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One Response to “Where do you get your news?”

  1. Emily Hsiung Says:

    Dear Prof Homa,

    Hope all is great… Was just reading your chart… Not sure if you knew, however, I used work in news in one of my past lives. I still have quite some good friends in Media so I wanted to share some thoughts…

    It’s interesting you plugged Yahoo News on the Right when it is actually fed/run by “NBC” ~My friend is the Head Editor, he is also a Hoyas alumni.
    Also curious that you placed WSJ on the right, I supposed partially this is because it aligns primarily with the majority of Wall Street followers, socially liberal & fiscally conservative… Yet, supposedly over 51% of its news comes from Bloomberg News -BN wire and you plugged them to the left… As always, you keep me thinking… :)

    Hope all is great… Always enjoy your insights!!

    Thanks,
    Emily

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