WordPress database error: [Table 'wordpress.wp_cleantalk_sfw' doesn't exist]
SELECT network, mask, status, source FROM wp_cleantalk_sfw WHERE network IN (63963136,64225280,64356352,64421888,64425984,64426112,64426176,64426208,64426216,64426220,64426222) AND network = 64426222 & mask AND 84075 ORDER BY status DESC

New Research: Republicans & Democrats React Differently to Fake News - glean.info

fake news perception gapAmericans believe fake news presents a serious danger and should be stopped. More Americans consider made-up news a worse problem than violent crime, climate change, or illegal immigration, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of 6,127 U.S. adults. And they think the issue will get worse in the foreseeable future.

More interestingly, Republicans and Democrats view fake news very differently, the research reveals.

Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are more likely to perceive made-up news as a major problem than Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. More Republicans say they see made-up news often. They also express greater skepticism about the news media in general and place far more blame on journalists: They’re almost three times as likely to say journalists create much of the false content (58% vs. 20%).

Do They See Fake News or Bias?

“Republicans may well be responding not to out-and-out fakery, but to bias—real or perceived—in news coverage,” comments David A. Graham at The Atlantic. “It would make sense that conservatives would be primed to accept the idea of widespread bias in the press after a decades-long campaign against the credibility of the mainstream press.”

Strong majorities of both groups say made-up news has prompted them to check facts in news stories. But Republicans are significantly more likely to have stopped viewing news from a specific news outlet or to reduce the amount of news they view overall.

That exposes a troubling trend: People will become more isolated from information by cutting themselves off from news publications they don’t like or that challenge their beliefs.

While commentators often complain of fake news on social media, the research finds little difference between those who obtain their news on social media. Social media users report roughly the same amount of made-up news.

The Dueling Facts Phenomenon

Researchers writing for the Nieman Lab say divergent viewpoints, or “the dueling facts phenomenon” has become widespread and ingrained. Views of news reports depend on positions. One example: Reactions to the Mueller report included both “total exoneration” and “impeach now.”

Core values, rather than political parties, determine how people interpret information. Core values – if people prioritize compassion or rugged individualism – also determines what people look for in the first place, what’s called “intuitive epistemology.” Those who care about oppression look for oppression — so they find it. Those who care about security look for threats to it — and they find them.

“Voters see the world in ways that reinforce their values and identities — irrespective of whether they have ever watched Fox News or MSNBC and regardless of whether they have a Facebook account,” state David Barker, a professor at American University, and Morgan Marietta, at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

The academics don’t have solutions. Fact-checking doesn’t work well. Voters who need them most rarely read fact-checks. Education only helps people get better at finding information that matches their preconceived values.

Greater PR Challenges

Spreading the brand’s message may become more difficult as partisan viewers reject news media in general or particular outlets that challenge their viewpoints. However, PR and corporate communicators who take into account their audience’s political positions and core values stand better chances of crafting more convincing content.

Experts also advise organizations to include fake news in their PR crisis communication plans and continually monitor traditional media and social media for brand mentions in online sources that are known to distribute fake and biased news or misinformation.

Despite the trend of partisan viewers rejecting news, PR can respond by communicating more, not less, with highly accurate and unambiguous business information and opinion.

Bottom Line: Republicans are more likely to distrust the news media and find news they say is made up. They’re also more likely to avoid news outlets they believe publish fake news or read less news in general over fake news concerns. But do they see fake news, or news that contradicts their viewpoints? Those considerations hold important implications for PR.