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Saturday, October 25, 2014

The truly frightening state of Americans, media and our sources for news

I saw the scariest study of Americans and how we get our news now. Check this little beauty out:

The headline alone was enough to frighten a person. Unfortunately, if not surprisingly, it went on to get only worse:

(CNN) -- More Americans get their news from the Internet than from newspapers or radio, and three-fourths say they hear of news via e-mail or updates on social media sites, according to a new report.

Sixty-one percent of Americans said they get at least some of their news online, according to a survey by the
Pew Internet and American Life Project.

That's compared with 54 percent who said they listen to a radio news program and 50 percent who said they read a national or local print newspaper.

There was one little glimmer of hope in all this:

Almost all respondents, 92 percent, said they get their news from more than one platform.

Thank goodness for that last little tidbit, anyway. At least people arent' completely "single-sourcing" their news. At least as far as they admit, anyway.

Thinking of the situation, that online, we all merely tune in to those sources that tilt or lean to our preconceived, already decided upon views, that's disheartening.

In the past, the news was the newspaper in the morning (and evening, if you're that old). It was a better, more overall look at our society and the news. Yes, newspapers still might lean "Left" or "Right", more or less Conservative or Liberal but they were a broader, more encompassing view of what was occurring in the nation and world. We didn't have control. We couldn't turn it off. 

Sure, you could ignore different editorials and columnists but by and large, one was given a better view of what was going on in the world.

Turn to today, with the internet and media, especially since the Republicans had us throw out the more balancing "Fairness Doctrine" in our laws which forced media sources to give two sides to each issue, and now we're far more tuning in to what we merely already agree with and what we want to hear.

It's truly scary.

Naturally, it's extremely polarizing. It makes us far more Republicans vs. Democrats or Liberals vs. Conservatives or--probably worst of all---"Left Wing" vs. "Right Wing."

With that same study, recently, though, yet more information came out:

This is one more big, rather new though not fully surprising development.

News? People getting their "news"? From Facebook?

I can't think of any more shallow or slanted source to get your "news" from than Facebook since most people, especially there, just "like" what they agree with and only follow such. Heaven knows I'm guilty of that. I don't even keep old friends from high school as Facebook friends after I've found they've turned into Right Wing and/or Republican shills.

We're bad and getting worse, clearly.

And the thing is, for all the great things coming from the Millenials and "X" and "Y" generations---like watching less and less television, needing, wanting and buying less automobiles, their turning away from the hates and prejudices of their parents and society and wanting to pollute our world less, etc.--this whole trend will no doubt get worse and worse with the oncoming of yet more and more technology on their part and that of our society.

It doesn't give me hope. At least it doesn't on this one topic.

With all that sour news, due to that study, comes this news, today, to prove the point:

Thursday Cable Ratings: Fox News #1 During NYC Ebola Breaking News

Here we have a serious situation in the country, responding to a possibly, even likely deadly disease and what "media" outlet is the number one source for people for news on it?

Fox?  Fox "News"? Faux News?

Go ahead. Shoot me now.

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