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Your news selection can influence your political views

ANI | Updated: Aug 11, 2018 13:31 IST

Washington D.C. [USA] Aug 11(ANI): A recent study says that youngsters' selection of news may make a difference in the way they participate in politics.
The research by Sam Scovill, a sociology doctoral student at the University of Arizona, analysed three primary ways through which young people (ages 15-25) select the news they consume.
Firstly, they rely on conventional news sources, such as newspapers and broadcast news in either their traditional or online formats. Scovill refers to this as "elite-selected" media, in which a publisher or producer is choosing which news is presented in mainstream media.
Secondly, they get their news primarily through social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter. Scovill refers to this as, socially selected news and thirdly, they select their news content themselves by actively and critically seeking information on topics that interest them from online-only sources, like YouTube or blogs.
He then studied the impact of this news on their engagement in political activities in categories like voting, political activism, and political campaigning.
Getting news from social media did not have a significant impact on political participation in any of the categories examined, although consumers of news on social media were, unsurprisingly, likely to have 'liked' a political candidate on Facebook.
While news consumption among young people in the dataset was generally low overall, how they selected their news still proved to make a difference in their political engagement, especially for those who self-selected their news media - which influenced political participation in every category but voting.
Those who self-selected their news were also the most likely to participate in 'high-cost' activism and campaigning activities. For example, they were more likely to attend a meeting or a rally for a candidate or issue or to donate money to a campaign. They also were more likely to sign an online petition or attend a youth political event or protest.
Scovill said, "Intentional process matters, whereas news on social media or elite-selected news media is coming through the choices of others who decide what is important to post on Facebook or what is important to go on the front page of the New York Times."
The full findings were discussed in the American Sociological Association Annual Meetin. (ANI)