We’ve defintely seen a paradigm shift happen with where we turn to for political news over
the last two decades. As access to te Internet has increased 100 fold for most, so has our willingness to look to it for national news. As the study done by Eric Riedel et al. suggests, we now rely almost exclusively on the Internet to stay up to date on national and international news, as compared to more local news that is happening around our city or state. I tend to agree.
My dad actually called me the other day from out of state and told me that the SR 99 Tunnel Project had been in question once again after a bid by a state contractor was secured and building was already underway. How had he heard? My father is an avid reader of Internet news online.
Getting back to the Riedel study, their proposition was simple: “news sources on the Internet are linked to learning about politics, as indicated by increased levels of political knowledge.” To put this to the test, they formed three hypothesis’s.
Hypothesis one states that the relationship between local and national news is not balanced. Basically, those who know local news tend to stick to and read more local news than they do national news. Those who read national news also tend to stick to just reading national news.
Hypothesis two and three tie together with each other more than with number one. Hypothesis two simply states that Internet news content tends to be more national in nature than local in nature. Hypothesis three states that reading the news online predicts that you will gain far more national political knowledge than you will local political knowledge.
Questions for Discussion
Do you read the newspaper?
Are you more informed nationally than you are locally?
Why are you more informed that way?
Riede, E. et al. (2003). The role of the Internet in national and local news media use. Journal of Online Behavior, 1(3). http://www.behavior.net/JOB/v1n3/riedel.html