Are partisan news sources polarizing Americans? (The Answer Might Surprise You)

That’s not to say partisan news has no effect. Arceneaux and Martin just believe that the effect appears to be much smaller than others have hypothesized. People aren’t sponges that unquestioningly absorb everything they hear. They have their own ideas and the ability to choose what they listen to.

“From our perspective,” they write, “the reason to be ill at ease with the state of partisan news is not because it polarizes or even because it misleads. Rather, the reason to be concerned with these shows revolves around the content itself.” That is, the shows have tremendous opportunities to help the public become more informed, but their effort is largely expended on decidedly different pursuits.


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