Mass media plays a critical role on in dissemination of information. The information received helps to form opinions and shape attitudes.The medium through which information is conveyed determines the depth of intended impact on the desired recipients. The means through which information disseminated to the public may be controlled or uncontrolled. For example, most television news passes in the hands of an editor who then makes sure that relevant and important information go through the medium. Same to print which is also edited and regulated. Information through social media tend to be distorted and hence not fully trusted.
Pathways to news
Pew research centre report shows a clear shift from traditional print news to more lively and engaging Television and digital news for those younger than fifty years. Due to the advancement in technology, news consumers can actively engage on a news item real time as opposed to print which is more limited in terms of engagement. I agree that television remains the most popular among American news consumers because it offer more than what print would offer.
The major undoing for print is the inability to engage reader’s real time. For anyone to comment on a news article, they must wait for next publication when their opinion would be published at the mercy of editors. Those reacting to printed news are not so sure that their comments reached the editor for publication unlike digital news and television news where the publish calls in to react on a news item. This is the cause of the continued decline in print news consumption witnessed.
Trust and accuracy
It is common to see media houses siding with political regimes in the United States. Taking political sides erodes level of confidence and that is why it is not strange to see low trust and confidence levels among Americans. It becomes very difficult to distinguish between objective criticism of a politician or a regime and propaganda.
News has become part of the political process in the United States and to say that media is fully independent is a hard nut to crack. So it is correct to say news organizations are biased. Its interesting though to see democrats having more trust in information from national news organization. The argument here may be because their preferred candidate is power. Would this statistic change if a republican ascends to power? Probably yes.
Loyalty and Source Attention
Being loyal is a feeling and the only way to measure loyalty is to measure the frequency with which consumers return to the same source for news information. 51% of Americans feel they are loyal while 48 feel they are not loyal. This is a 50-50 scenario although older adults and women tend to return to the same source for information which is an indication of loyalty. The combination of motion picture and sound is more convincing than news narrated on a newspaper. It is interesting to listen and watch than just read.
News consumers tend to be loyal when they form an opinion about the source. They go back to the same source since have an experience with them. Further, a more established news firm tend to gunner more loyal consumers less popular ones.