A recent study published in Oxford’s Journal of Communication (and available here) shows some very interesting links between the impact of losing a local newspaper and the increase of bipartisan (left or right) votes. Here are our takeaways:
Newspaper Closures Polarize Voting Behavior
Missing local news has a negative impact on political outcomes
“Local news sources are not merely suffering in this new marketplace—many are disappearing for good (Hindman, 2009; Shaker, 2014). As newspapers close, other local media are not emerging to fill the information gaps, with negative impacts on important political outcomes”
Less local news, less regard on local politics.
“Another emerging literature details negative consequences of declining local news. Where local newspapers are weaker, people know less about their representatives and subnational governments and turn out at lower rates (Hayes and Lawless, 2015, 2018; Kübler & Goodman, 2018; Shaker, 2014), and municipal governments spend less and borrow at higher rates (Gao et al., 2018; Yazaki, 2017). ”
The Nationalizing Media Environment and Political Polarization
Less news opinions creates more, national-based, bipartisan decisions
“Declining access to quality local news is harmful to voter behavior and responsive governance, leading to more corruption (Arnold, 2004; Besley, Burgess, & Prat, 2002; Campante & Do, 2014; Strömberg, 2004) and lower voter turnout (Schulhofer-Wohl & Garrido, 2013). In the absence of quality local news options, Americans may rely on partisanship and national news to inform their political decisions (Hopkins, 2018; Trussler, 2018).” A relative reduction of local news in the media marketplace may result in less exposure to local news and more regular exposure to national media, with significant effects on engagement and partisan voting (Clinton & Enamorado, 2014; Hopkins & Ladd, 2014; Hopkins, 2018).
[Split-ticket voting refers to when a voter in an election votes for candidates from different political parties when multiple offices are being decided by a single election, as opposed to straight-ticket voting, where a voter chooses candidates from the same political party for every office up for election. – Wikipedia]
Less local news mix local and national matters.
“Our findings connect the literature on the polarizing effects of the changing news environment to scholarship on the negative democratic consequences of the decline of local news: just as adding the internet or partisan cable news to the media environment can influence voting behavior, removing a local news source from the marketplace may polarize the choices citizens make”
So, now, what?
We wrote on Jan 17th, the post below announcing Google, Facebook, and now the Knight Foundation have reach a whooping $1B financial support quality journalism and for local news…
Quality journalism is mandatory for democracy and vital to Media brand values. The foundation of TrustedOut Media profiling to provide sources Analysts will define as their need and trust in Business Intelligence, Advertising and PR.
Age predicts behavior better than any other characteristics (even party affiliation )
Researchers at New York and Princeton Universities, through their recent surveys, are saying older users shared more fake news than younger ones regardless of education, sex, race, income, or how many links they shared. [source: The Verge]
7 times more fake news sharing
“But older users skewed the findings: 11 percent of users older than 65 shared a hoax, while just 3 percent of users 18 to 29 did. Facebook users ages 65 and older shared more than twice as many fake news articles than the next-oldest age group of 45 to 65, and nearly seven times as many fake news articles as the youngest age group (18 to 29).”
Profiling media sources…
“It won’t be easy: how to determine whether a person is digitally literate remains an open question. But at least some of the issue is likely to come down to design: fake news spreads quickly on Facebook in part because news articles generally look identical in the News Feed, whether they are posted by TheNew York Times or a clickbait farm.”
… to build trust.
Profiling sources so limit fake news spreading is similar, in logic, to profiling sources to limit misleading intelligence. We call it “Corpus Intelligence” and will focus on B2B solutions. In production end Q1 2019.
The Aspen Institute and the Knight Foundation recently released a report on a commission they organized about Trust, Media and Democracy. While coming from America, we believe most can apply wider.
If you don’t have the time for the length report, this medium page is very interesting. Here are our takeaways in the light of our previous posts, regrouped in 3 main categories:
10 ways to rebuild trust in media and democracy
Before starting up, we can not resist to simply cut and paste the introduction paragraph: “Our nation is experiencing a crisis of trust. We believe that reliable news is vital to our democracy, but many of us can’t name an objective news source. Concern about “fake news” is high, but we can’t agree on what that means. We can’t even assume every American is operating under the same set of facts. We retreat to polarized political tribes and don’t want to listen to anyone outside them.” – Superbly written and so much in alignment with what we believe and the motivation to create TrustedOut.
Of course, the purpose here is not a posture of “we know better” but rather than copycatting what the article says, simply note we wrote about most of those points and thus, are in agreement with them.
Can’t resist just cutting and pasting the very first sentence here “Consumer trust is a vital and a key differentiator for publishers in a competitive environment. Fostering trust, prioritizing consumer rights and offering transparency of data practices is more important than ever before for premium publishers.” from this article from Digital Content Next
So, unsurprisingly, we loved this article. Here are our takeaways:
Gap between trust in traditional and social media is now at an all-time high.
The US and Canada and European markets also registered significant trust in traditional media and search compared to social media. Trust in traditional media is at its highest-ever historical level at 65% in US and Canada and 60% in Europe, trust in search at 61% and 59%, respectively. However, rust in social media in both markets is at 34%.
The percentage gap between trust in traditional and social media is now at an all-time high of 31-points in US and Canada and a 26-point gap in Europe.
In terms of political differences, consumers who identify as Republican voters show only 33% trust in media compared to 69% of Democrats voters.
#MeToo shift from the “mass population” to the “informed public
Further, more women, think that the #metoo movement, (plus 23 percentage points year-over-year) than men (plus 18 percentage points) shift from the “mass population” to the “informed public” segment.
CEO to take the lead. Don’t wait for government!
People are also looking to leaders to take charge and initiate change. More than three-quarters (76%) of respondents report that CEOs should take the lead on change rather than waiting for government to impose it.
First priority: equal pay. Last: fake news
Specific needs for positive change include: equal pay (65%), prejudice and discrimination (64%), training for jobs of tomorrow (64%), environment (56%), personal data (55%), sexual harassment (47%) and fake news (37%).
“Avoid Media to get informed” – Yellow Vest leader
The movement in the center of the news does not recognize itself when they watch the news. This creates a profound distrust driving to confrontation, and violence. “Between live shows showing the “truth” shared thousands of times, comments by hundreds insulting journalists, and even an event proposing to “besiege the media” – gatherings in front of television channels”
In our blog post referenced above, we covered ways to improve the trust in media:
1/ Journalists to defend themselves…
2/ and improve with more accuracy, more transparency and less bias…
3/ with recognized sources and countered partisan perceptions…
4/ led with their media brand values.
2. Trust what leaders trust.
“In seeking information online, Yellow Vests are also influenced by “messengers”, who themselves do not like the media… it is difficult to “prioritize what is most important, in terms of credibility, in the public’s choices”…
“one of the most important criteria is the advice of peers, that is, people in whom I trust or resemble me”.”
From the article: One leader says he likes reading Russia Today, another likes someone “close to Dieudonné (convicted in court eight times on antisemitism) or Alain Soral (Critic of Capitalism, communitarianism, feminism, Zionism)”. In a stream of information without hierarchy, where a comment on Facebook, a live video or a media article have the same value, all truths would be good to take. Sometimes opening the door to conspiracy theories, as we have seen over the past few weeks.”
We are our education.
Don’t get us wrong here, we are not trying to denigrate this or any other movements. All this is fine as long as you are aware of who wrote what you read, which will drive your opinions, your decision-making and thus, who you are. In other words, gauge where information is coming from before doing anything with it. Think before you act. Gauge before you like, retweet, comment…
This is true at the individual level, reader, protester, thought leader, but even more true for businesses. How can you make strategic decisions — analytics/intelligence, ad placements or PR efforts — on content not corresponding to your trust criteria??
We covered some of this in this blog post about Trust over education stages, colleges and high school.
We are at a critical inflection point in the way we get and act upon our news. Trend, so far, has been to distrust media which moved readers to social networks. Numbers show there is even less trust in social media and echo chambers with closed groups can be a threat to democracy (France: 35% general news vs 19% social networks, USA: 34% general news vs 13% social networks). So, what do we do?
Yes, this is why we are doing TrustedOut. We will in production in early 2019 but are already accepting beta testers (interested? let us know asap).
While identifying who’s talking is mandatory to anything you do with any content, TrustedOut focused, for now, on Business to Business with…
IMMEDIATE BENEFITS FOR:
‣ Business Intelligence: Trust the Decisions you make with content you trust.
‣ Brand Safety: Define the perimeter of media you trust to promote your brand.
‣ PR Coverage: Set and compare different media groups by trust levels.
“Everything that once seemed definitively and unquestionably real now seems slightly fake; everything that once seemed slightly fake now has the power and presence of the real,” Max Read writes for New York Magazine.”
And yes, we also agree with “Why it matters.”
“Legit media companies and businesses need to be making decisions for their human customers. That gets harder for everyone when bots and fake metrics swamp the internet.”
Top predictions, results of a lesson learned the hard way: 2019 will be the year of Privacy and transparency.
Hereafter are our favorite parts from the article:
In 2019, Marketers Will Strike the Right Balance of Personalization and Privacy. Lynne Capozzi, CMO, Acquia
“… 2019 will be the year that marketers not only prioritize data privacy, but they start to get the balance right — offering the appropriate amount of personalization and privacy to build customer relationships based on trust. Consumers will continue to challenge brands to do so — otherwise they’ll move on. …”
Transparency Will Make Much Bigger Cracks Within the Digital Ecosystem as CMOs Prioritize Tech Partners. Mike Pallad, President, Undertone (cross-platform synchronized digital marketing for the world’s most prominent brands)
“…In the coming year, the demand for transparency will finally force marketers to choose only the tech partners that most empower them to understand the reach, frequency, and impact of their campaigns (across all of their digital partners), allowing them to spend in the most intelligent ways….”
CMOs Will Stop “Going with Their Gut” And Truly Harness Data to Make Informed Decisions. Matt Sweeney, President of Xaxis North America
“86% of US brand marketers plan to invest in outcome-driven media over the next 2 years. In 2019, CMOs will make strides toward outcome-driven media, allowing them to tie their media metrics more directly to their business goals. … By truly harnessing their data, CMOs will no longer need to go with their gut instincts when making media investment decisions. They will be more agile with their budgets and media strategies, using data to deliver better returns and deliver the best consumer experiences.”
Better media, greater profiling.
Our takeaway here is two folds:
An opportunity for an improved trust in better media.
In our previous post, Optimism and method for greater trust in media., we wrote “to improve media should have Journalists to defend themselves and improve with more accuracy, more transparency and less bias with recognized sources and countered partisan perceptions led with their media brand values.”
This prediction confirms our reading of Gallup and Axios.
A strong need for media profiling.
As media strengthen their brand values and, at the same time, Marketers will get less intrusive customer data, they will rely, even more, on analyzing the media pulse within their well defined audiences. This is the market purpose of TrustedOut.
As this profiling must not be biased and permanently updated, only an AI-operated profiling can deliver this. This is the tech foundation of TrustedOut.
Of course, do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
According to Axios, “efforts to bring transparency to media — including attempts by journalists to publicly defend their work, media literacy campaigns, more transparent funding and improved fact-checking partnerships — have helped the media recover a bit of trust with the public after hitting an all-time low in 2016″
How to continue to improve?
Journalists to defend themselves…
“study from Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication suggests that journalists can actually increase trust in the media by speaking out in defense of their profession …
… and improve with more accuracy, more transparency and less bias…
… while also doing more fact checking.: Which is second with this “poll by Gallup and The Knight Foundation this year found that efforts to restore media trust among most Americans can work “particularly if those efforts are aimed at improving accuracy, enhancing transparency and reducing bias.”
… with recognized sources and countered partisan perceptions…
“people are less likely to perceive a report or set of facts as being biased if they are unaware of the outlet producing them. It concludes that restoring trust in the news media may then require news companies to actually address and counter shared perceptions of bias and inaccuracy within partisan groups.”
Values of a brand are the trustworthiness of a media,
A brand will fight for its value, here with media, for accuracy, for its perspective and tone and always deliver what you expect from this brand. An article may, accidentally, be wrong, an author may sometimes be wrong, the only safety net is the brand which will fight back, correct and improve.
In a chaotic and challenging environment, Brand values are the only solutions for stable trust.
Like with cars or food, some people may not like a brand and like another one, but those brands will always deliver, and fight for, the values you expect from them.
This is why, unsurprisingly, those surveys are aligned with our mission at TrustedOut: Focusing and profiling media brands so you can define those you trust and those you don’t. Define your corpus and feed your analytic tools or create your brand safety perimeter of your trust for your strategic decisions.