Watching the Nightly News Might Be Good For You

Here’s an interesting graphic from a survey done by More In Common. It’s not about which media sources are the most accurate. It’s about which media sources do the most to improve the accuracy of your perceptions of your political opposites:

If this is right, every single type of news media makes your perceptions of the other side less accurate. The only exceptions are the old-school nightly network news shows.

There’s plenty to argue with here. There’s the definition of “accurate” for starters. There are those massive error bars. And there’s the question of whether mainstream news sources are actually at fault for any of this. For example, if Republican political leaders are more extreme than Democratic political leaders—and the New York Times mostly quotes political leaders—then readers might indeed get a wrong impression of what the average Republican thinks. But that’s more the fault of the political leaders than the Times.

Still, it’s kind of interesting. I guess those feel-good stories at the end of every nightly news show—which I hate because I’m a cranky misanthrope—actually do some good after all.

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