Cujaysfan….who do you use for news?
My reading of the article is that the authors were not intending to assess the content of the different media sites for bias, it was about attention patterns of those supporting Clinton vs those supporting Trump. (at least based on what was shared on Twitter and Facebook)
From what I can tell it shows that an entirely new universe of media consumption emerged this election. Trump supporters were more likely to share Brietbart stories with little or no attention being paid to MSM. Even Fox news was sidelined during several months during the primary season based on Breitbart stories critical of the network.
“While Facebook and Twitter certainly enabled right-wing media to circumvent the gatekeeping power of traditional media, the pattern was not symmetric. The size of the nodes marking traditional professional media like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN, surrounded by the Hill, ABC, and NBC, tell us that these media drew particularly large audiences. Their color tells us that Clinton followers attended to them more than Trump followers ( by a 3:2 ratio), and their proximity on the map to more quintessentially partisan sites—like Huffington Post, MSNBC, or the Daily Beast—suggests that attention to these more partisan outlets on the left was more tightly interwoven with attention to traditional media. The Breitbart-centered wing, by contrast, is farther from the mainstream set and lacks bridging nodes that draw attention and connect it to that mainstream.”
So my takeaway is that during this election Trump supporters ( at least the ones active on social media) lived in a new media bubble that was distinct and less likely to interact with information from mainstream media. If that is the new paradigm and will persist into the future, it will be exceedingly difficult to rebuild a middle ground that can support compromises needed to govern.
You may feel there is bias in some MSM sources and I am sure there is as times. But I hope you would agree that the journalistic value of most MSM sources is higher than Brietbart. Whatever failings are present in a particular MSM source there are usually dissenting voices presented and alternate views discussed. There are journalistic standards and people are fired for fabrications. The opinion pages of newspapers have columnists from different political stripes. Network news showcases and interviews people from a variety of viewpoints. On any day there could be bias and distortions in an article or news segment but there is not one monolithic voice controlling the conversation of MSM. There are several competing outlets that are striving to analyze events and publish/air stories based on some sort of evidence. The best anyone can do it to try to read multiple sources and expose themselves to different viewpoints. Even in the stories you mention about marriages between media and policitos…there were attempts to remove conflicts of interest by changing reporting assignments or in some case reporters stepping down. You may not feel that was enough but conflicts of interest are at least acknowledged as an issue.
I had never heard of Breitbart prior to this election. Clearly it was a huge driver of information and dominated the attention of Trump supporters. There was little attention paid to WSJ and even Fox news was overshadowed. I think that is the asymmetry the authors discussed. Traditional or moderate conservative sources don’t exist or don’t get attention.
With Breitbart as the center of Trump’s support base we are on a different planet from discussions of media bias.
“disinformation: the purposeful construction of true or partly true bits of information into a message that is, at its core, misleading……such material has created an environment in which the President can tell supporters about events in Sweden that never happened, or a presidential advisor can reference a non-existent “Bowling Green massacre.”
What would you suggest to rebuild trust and enlarge the center?