Monday, July 08, 2013

Why Americans are so ill informed

A new Gallup survey tells us television is still America's primary news source for current events (55%), leading the Internet, at 21%. Even worse, Fox News and CNN are the market leaders both in viewers and click-bait sensationalism. Accuracy in reporting has never been part of the Fox business model and at this point it's little more than a quaint relic of the past at CNN.

On a related note, MoJo runs the numbers to find just how large a goldmine Citizens United spending has been for BigMedia. Which is leading to new rounds of consolidation.
And it's not just CBS that's riding high thanks to political ad spending. TV stations in battleground states are magnets for ad spending, and they're driving a new wave of consolidation in the broadcast industry, leaving a handful of big media companies well-positioned to reap hundreds of millions during the 2014 midterm elections and, especially, the 2016 presidential race. Just in the past month, the Gannett company bought 20 TV stations for $1.5 billion, and the Tribune Company inked a $2.7 billion deal for 19 stations. Those deals included stations in battleground states.
Meanwhile, SuperPACs ads keep getting slicker and less easy to distinguish from the programming, especially since the disclosure requirements are so dismally inadequate. There are no incentives to get the information right. The big money is in misinformation. This is a problem.

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