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Cable news has a much bigger effect on America’s polarization than social media, study finds | Nieman Journalism Lab

The past two election cycles have seen an¬†explosion of attention given¬†to ‚Äúecho chambers,‚ÄĚ or communities where a narrow set of views makes people less likely to challenge their own opinions. Much of this concern has focused on the rise of social media, which has¬†radically transformed the information ecosystem.

However, when scientists investigated social media echo chambers,¬†they found surprisingly little evidence¬†of them on a large scale ‚ÄĒ¬†or at least none on a scale large enough to warrant the growing concerns. And yet, selective exposure to news¬†does increase polarization. This suggested that these studies missed part of the picture of Americans‚Äô news consumption patterns. Crucially, they did not factor in a major component of the average American‚Äôs experience of news: television.

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Source: Cable news has a much bigger effect on America’s polarization than social media, study finds | Nieman Journalism Lab