A studyinto the use of use of search engines, social media, and aggregators to access news shows that these tools can actually create more diverse information diets.
Researchers from the universities of Oxford and Liverpool analyzed web tracking data on around 3,000 UK news users. Quoting the research.
Indeed, it may be that exposure to conflicting partisan views, rather than over-exposure to like-minded views, will offer a better explanation for the negative outcomes — like polarization — that are sometimes associated with distributed media use. Similarly, although consuming news from a variety of outlets may offer some benefits, some may simply be more comfortable with a world where most people only access news from impartial sources like the BBC — where differing views are often recognized, but presented in a certain way.
Why do we care?
I found this particularly interesting because of the idea of information bubbles and the tone of media. I’m biased too… I am a media organization now.
Here’s the missing question for me – how are we, culturally, investing in media literacy? Is a lack of investment in media literacy actually costing us money as business owners too – if the population at large is less capable of understanding media, what does that mean for our marketing?
This is why we care about understanding media consumption – it’s part of our marketing efforts.