Odds and Ends with a bit of Politic.

Posted May 10, 2017 11:10 am - Updated May 10, 2017 11:36 am

The age of affirmation

I was talking with a friend the other day at the Kansas Press Association and he worries that instead of the age of information, we're in the age of affirmation.

With the explosion of social media, folks can seek out news that affirms their perception of the world, without getting into different experiences to fully understand what's going on.

I fear that this is what happened to folks as there is such a division between supposed liberal and conservative thought processes.

A 2009 study published in Sage Journals noted that “viewers worldwide turn to particular broadcasters to affirm rather than inform their opinions, meaning the global news media are likely to reinforce existing attitudes and stereotypes of cultural ‘others’.”

In their research, they also found that when tuning into Al-Jazeera English, news consumers were less dogmatic in their world views.

What does this mean for Kansans? Is there really a media bias in broadcast news that we’re buying into because it ‘affirms’ our opinions of others?

According to a Poynter article, nine out ten Republicans felt that news organizations are biased against Trump, but in a society that embraces diversity, what of cultural implications?

With a free press, it’s sacrilege to shun opposing voices, but what about the truth? Moderation is defined as the avoidance of excess or extremes, and it behooves broadcast news consumers to remember that there are always two sides to a story.

I’ve found that with the rise of social media, there is more transparency as we’re bombarded with Congressional hearings daily and it’s easier to watch the SOURCES give their accounts of happenings, but I wanted to put this out there for speculation.

Are you a well -balanced news consumer?