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Internet Gains Ground As Trusted News Source 214

Khammurabi writes "Yahoo is reporting that the younger generation is trusting internet news sources more and more. From the article, 'The survey confirmed that media consumption is shifting online for younger generations, as 19 percent of those aged 18 to 24 named the Internet as their most important source of news compared with 9 percent overall.' Also in the article is the factoid that Americans consider Fox News the most trustworthy national news program overall (coming in at 11%)."
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Internet Gains Ground As Trusted News Source

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  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:33PM (#15257529) Homepage Journal

    Heard about this on the BBC this morning. One of the sites I get a lot of my info from, however even the BBC is under certain strain these days after fallout from accusations of the Blair government (The Bush-Blair memo, Hutton Inquiry, suicide of David Kelly) and is being restructured, so you never really know what your going to be left with. Cut-backs have certainly been visible in coverage.

    I also visit Al Jazeera from time to time. Maybe there's some propaganda at work on the site, or maybe that's what I've been trained to believe from american media. Either way, they seem to have the credibility I once associated with CNN long before Ted Turner sold them out.

    the younger generation is trusting internet news sources more and more.

    I sure don't watch news on TV anymore. If I see something interesting I do my own digging, lest I get trapped in a honeypot news site with propaganda all over the place.

    The survey confirmed that media consumption is shifting online for younger generations, as 19 percent of those aged 18 to 24 named the Internet as their most important source of news compared with 9 percent overall.

    Well, good, just take care where you read from and who you trust. I find a smattering of international sites gives a broader view and avoids the pitfall of buying into one nation's "truth"

    Also in the article is the factoid that Americans consider Fox News the most trustworthy national news program overall (coming in at 11%)

    An interesting and very, very sad tidbit. The country is in a war it never should have entered, China is financing USA debt, which will give it tremendous leverage, while the president continues to boost 'defense' spending at the expense of social programs, Iran is spearheading a move away from the Dollar for petroleum trading, and a lot more. It's only taken 5 years for some people to come around to the facts that this is not a forthcoming or particularly well run government. Thanks Fox News, you've helped make that possible by bluring corporate interference in the news room, info-tainment and politics.

  • Trusted news (Score:2, Interesting)

    by evildogeye ( 106313 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:35PM (#15257552) Homepage
    Well, since the majority of the news on the Internet comes from the same companies that publish newspapers and run the TV stations (cnn.com, foxnews.com, washingtonpost.com, etc), for all intents and purposes the Internet is almost exactly equally trustworthy as them. As for Fox News, their spin is hard to deal with and makes them almost untrustworthy. Not that the other networks are a whole lot better, although Tucker Carlson is running a great show with a pretty objective and fair perspective on everything these days. He is not the "Partisan Hack" that John Stewart once called him any longer.
  • by El Cubano ( 631386 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:36PM (#15257556)

    The survey confirmed that media consumption is shifting online for younger generations, as 19 percent of those aged 18 to 24 named the Internet as their most important source of news compared with 9 percent overall.

    It is much easier to find news sources on the Internet that overlook the things you want overlooked. I.e., if you have the opnion that the war in Iraq is going great and there are no problems, you can find a news source that will give you only information that supports that view. If you think the war in Iraq is a debacle/illegal/disaster/whatever, you can also find a news source to support only that view. It's nothing new. Poeple go where they hear the things they want to hear because it's easier than hearing everything and ignoring what you don't like.

  • shifting target (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:37PM (#15257575) Homepage
    I think as soon as something becomes 'trusted' the advertising jackels and political propagandist quickly move in and use it to their own ends. Then, as it becomes more and more obvious that it is so, they move on to something else. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  • Re:Sad (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:38PM (#15257585)
    That 11% for Fox was highest percentage for an American news source. However, compared to other countries, it was the lowest percentage reported, the minimax. That 90% didn't say Fox is very reassuring actually, think about it! Those 10% are probably the 10% hard right of the people in this country, sounds about right to me. I wonder what the other responses were.
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @05:45PM (#15257645) Homepage Journal
    I didn't see Slashdot, DIGG, Fark, etc. listed - why not?!?

    I didn't either see mention of the grass-roots media growing in Egypt, outside government control. Small newspapers and even a few small TV stations are flourishing. Giving at least some insight into what has been going on which the government has been slow to report. People in Egypt trust satellite and internet over the government spoon-feed. At least the government isn't cracking down on them, like say, the fair and honest chinese government. (Though from what I hear there are any number of small local papers all over the place in China which only be too happy to tell you what the government doesn't want you to know.

  • Source vs. Sources (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CarpetShark ( 865376 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:01PM (#15257794)
    The thing about the internet is that it opens up the media, and gives us the ability to hear directly from industry insiders. In contrast, the mainstream media has stagnated, settling for a relatively small ring of sources, interpreted, filtered and censored by an even smaller ring of reporters and media channels.

    The question for me though is, how many of the people who read "internet news" are actively tracking down information from sources they respect (though not necessarily trust) vs. those who simply read Yahoo or Google or MSN(BC)'s news feed.
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:15PM (#15257896) Homepage Journal
    You just blamed a news outlet for starting a war, causing a trade deficit, budgetary and foreign relations problems and mistakes... at the behest of corporations?

    No, I didn't blame them. They help make it possible. Any news outlet which simply parrots what government or corporate sponsors want said are not what the 1st amendment is there to protect.

    Sadly, the Whitehouse (and particularly the president since a leader is responsible for those who work at his/her behest) may pick and choose who attends press briefings. The president's handlers have also made it a point in the past few years to keep protesters at bay, in a specially designated "not friends of the president" lot down the street during rallies.

    I feel we are heading towards the type of press we vilified in Soviet times, where it was nothing but propaganda. Piss-off the Whitehouse and see if you continue to be invited to press briefings. TV is soft news. Newspapers are a bit better, but still beholden to corporate interests. Why the love-fest between Fox and Bush, I do not know, but perhaps it's explored in the film Outfoxed [imdb.com] I missed it when it was in town and should probably go rent it.

  • by leereyno ( 32197 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:16PM (#15257903) Homepage Journal
    Fox news has risen to prominence because it is the singluar major news outlet that doesn't pander to leftist sympathies. Roughly 1 in 4 americans is a "liberal." The rest are either moderates or conservatives. All of the other major news outlets are competing for that 1 in 4, and ignoring the rest of us. The success of Fox news is due to the fact that it works to attract the 75% of the country that the other news outlets aren't interested in. What wasn't mentioned in this story is the fact that the Nielsen ratings for Fox news are higher than those for CNN and MSNBC combined. It all comes down to who your viewers are, and there are quite simply more conservative and moderate viewers out there than there are liberal ones.

    Fox news is not alone in this either. A similar phenomena can be found in print media where long time bastions of liberal journalism like the Washington Post, the NYT, and the LA Times are suffering from a loss of readership. Both the LA Times and the NYT have had to lay off workers because of this. Meanwhile conservative-leaning newspapers like the Washington Times are experiencing record subscription levels.

    I think that the internet also plays a large role in this. I'm sure that everyone here is familiar with the role that bloggers played in what has come to be known as "Rathergate." They say that online no one knows you're a dog. The internet is a virtual soap-box from which anyone with even a dial-up connection can speak to the world. The blogosphere represents a ruthlessly democratic medium where no single ideology reigns supreme. This is wonderful because it means freedom of information, freedom of thought, freedom of conscience. The days when those with a particular ideological bent could blithely put their special spin on the news are over. It also puts to rest the silly notion that anyone can be unbiased. Everyone operates off their own prejudices. The most an information consumer can hope for is to be cognizant of the prejudices of the source. One can only hope that as the blogosphere and internet media evolves as an information source, the critical thinking skills of consumers experiences a similar evolution. Too many people believe what they are told and a free society will not long endure when so many of its citizens are damned fools.

  • by DilbertLand ( 863654 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:19PM (#15257935)
    Being able to ignore "news" isn't always a bad thing. I don't feel the need to waste my time and sit through the 578th Natalee Holloway, Scott Peterson, Duke lacrosse team, or Michael Jackson story. I can learn all I need/want to know about those in 1 60 second setting. They will spend 30 minutes a day for months on those things, yet things like Space Ship 1 first flight gets a 3 minute blurb on the day of the flight (and live video - you know, just in case it crashes).....then back to the non-stop trial coverage. I just don't understand.
  • Re:Trusted news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ryan Amos ( 16972 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:30PM (#15258014)
    Because most English language papers are not on the same level as Americans in their political leanings. Even the most liberal Americans are right-wingers over in Europe. People like what they read to agree with what they already "feel" as some sort of validation that their feelings and opinions are correct. This is not a conspiracy, it's human nature. We like to be right, even if that means redefining what it means to *be* right.
  • by Garse Janacek ( 554329 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:32PM (#15258027)
    Thank you.

    It's frustrating when such blatant statistical nonsense gets into an article summary, and then there's a whole mini-flamewar about it ("See, Americans are stupid!"/"What's so bad about fox news?!") without any acknowledgment that the original claim is a sham.

    I don't think it's surprising, or even depressing, that Fox is the most trusted single news source, at least not when it only got 11%. Fox tries to present itself as the only really honest news source, and people who actually watch it are more liable to buy that. The more "balanced" :-P folks realize that you can't just trust one source for all your news, and are thus less likely to overwhelmingly go for one particular news source as the most trusted one. If you asked me that question, there are half a dozen sources that would spring to mind, none of which have a decisive advantage. I would rank Fox as my least trusted source (at least among the big players), but the most is much less defined.

    All of which is just to say... among the Fox demographic, Fox news is likely to be the most trusted name. But among (say) the New York Times' demographic, there are a number of other news sources that would probably be similarly trusted. This isn't surprising, and I'm actually very encouraged that 89% trusts other sources more than Fox -- I'm rather cynical, and would have guessed a much lower number.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:33PM (#15258040)
    "Leftist sympathies?" Fucking please. The Limbaugh-spewed bullshit about the "librul media" is so transparently false that a grade-A moron can see it these days.

    But forget that. I suppose that it's better to have a fake news network that has blatant RIGHTWING sympathies then? Why would a mythical left-wing news source be "bad" but one that is blatantly right-wing be good?

    FOX is anything but fair and balanced. You've said as much yourself.

    Fox defenders are the very reason thinking people have turned elsewhere for their news--like the Internet. We're sick of listening to the Mouth of Sauron blather the party line.
  • by Guuge ( 719028 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @06:47PM (#15258125)
    How many liberals would jump to the defense of a major news network before even a word of criticism is uttered? Almost none. Yet you have to defend one and attack all liberals at the same time, even though the article has nothing to do with liberalism and has not mentioned any flaws of Fox News.

    You may not realize it, but you are reinforcing certain stereotypes regarding blind loyalty and subservience among conservatives.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:44PM (#15258532)
    The Washington Post is often very conservatively biased and twists facts to promote a right winged bias.

    In order to promote the ICC, a major mostly useless highway through important ecosystems(which personally I could care less about) it claimed that "environmentalists support the ICC" and sited a fringe "environmentalist" pro-industry group with a handful of members who supported it as proof.

    When things have happened to make Republicans look worse than Democrats, the Washington Post has a way of twisting things(or outright lying) to make Democrats look worse and therefore make the article look more "ballanced."

    And so on.

    You could probably find enough "evidence" that the Washington Post is conservatively biased to fill hundreds of pages. And if the Washington Post is conservative and one of the "more left" ones, that means everything else is incredibly right.

    But in the end the Washington Post isn't conservative just because it is biased that way sometimes and the entire media isn't liberal just because it is biased that way sometimes.
  • Re:Sad (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @07:57PM (#15258636)
    I doubt you'd find anyone working at the BBC who was pro US or pro Israel, at least people that work as journalists. If you went to a dinner party with BBC people and said anything positive about any right wing politician you'd get shouted down. In fact if you said anything positive most Labour ones you'd also get shouted down. BBC reporters may come seem to come in a healthy variety of colours and genders, but they come from a very narrow part of the political spectrum, comfortably to the left of both Labour and the Tories. In fact I'd say they are comfortably to the left of pretty much any government that is likely to be elected.

    The problem with bias is that there is a feedback effect. Quite quickly, people who don't fit the bias of the organisation will become unpopular and leave. Once that happens, there is no one left in the organisation to challenge it's drift towards whatever extreme it had a slight preference for. A bunch of public school educated journalists working for a publicly funded state broadcaster tend to be keen on left wing ideas (e.g the public sector, pacifism) and hostile to right wing ones (free market economics, the US/UK foreign policy consensus). I guess other parts of their world view has a bias too, but I find it less obnoxious than these because I agree with it.

    Look at the way they cover any economic issue for example, left wing ideas get a far more sympathetic hearing that right wing ones. Or foreign policy - all their coverage assumes that it's currently dominant by a conspiracy of neocons, without quoting what the Neocons actually wrote, or mentioning that apart from Iraq, Neocons are not that different from regular Cons.

    Or whenever the US/UK fight a war, it's always covered as if disaster is imminient until they actually win. E.g in Serbia, I remember seeing reports about how the bombing was pointless right up to the point the Serbs surrendered. Being sceptical about a war is of course not itself a bad thing, but there were good reasons for that war (oddly enough, you could see that from Maggie Kane's reports in the Guardian), and good reasons for the choice of tactics, and the BBC never reported them.

    I think BBC journalists want to do their own version of crusading journalism against the Vietnam war, despite the fact that techology has improved since then, and the US/UK guys go to much greated lengths these days to avoid killing innocent people. Today's journalists also forget that when the US left, Vietnam was reunited under a murderous dictatorship, so assertive US foreign policy is not necessarily worse than the alternative.

    I guess if you start off with a built in bias, no matter how slight, conformism will amplify it. And since the BBC doesn't have to worry about customers or outside interference, there isn't any force to counter act that. And from the media people I've met in London, the intake to the BBC has a huge bias.

    Sod it, I'm wasting my time posting this stuff here. But if you compare the BBC to any American organisation, you can see that it's clearly to the left. Maybe you just like that.
  • House Hippos (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kbahey ( 102895 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2006 @08:02PM (#15258666) Homepage
    A few years ago, there was an ad on TV here (Ontario, Canada) that featured what is says to be Hippopotamus domesticus, the House Hippo. It lives in homes across North America, in people's houses.

    The ad shows a very small hippopotamus (3-4 inches long) in various scenes in a normal house.

    The following claims are made in the ad, in a voice that looks like Attenbourough on BBC nature programs:

    - house hippos are friendly, but will defend their territory if necessary
    - house hippos live in bedroom closets, where they make nests
    - house hippos sleep 16 hours a day
    - house hippos come out at night when they search for food
    - house hippos like to eat chips, raisins, and crumbs

    The ad then says something like : "Do not believe everything you see on TV. Ask questions".

    Read the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org], or see the UK version of it here [mediasmart.org.uk]

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