Viewers turn to broadcast that affirm their opinions is not that shocking!


In the article, Al-Jazeera English and global news networks: clash of civilizations or cross-cultural dialogue?, Scholars Shawn Powers and Mohammed el-Nawawy discuss the role of global news media, and question whether it furthers the balkanization of the global news environment or instead if it is moving towards a globally connected and engaged aggregation of publics. From looking at/and comparing CNNI, BBC World, and AL-Jazeera’s audiences, the authors found that viewers would turn to the broadcast that affirmed their opinions instead of informing them. After reading this I was not sure whether I should be shocked by this statement, or if I would be shocked if the authors noted the opposite. Isn’t it obvious that people would turn to the news that would report an event with their same view and not go against their existing attitudes and stereotypes of cultural others? Wouldn’t most people just switch the channel if the reporting was against their own views and discredit the source?

Even though I consider myself a very open person to many views, I choose not to watch programs that make me mad at the way they portray certain stories and views. When I have the choice of watching between say Fox News or NBC, no doubt I would choose NBC. When I watch the news, I want to be able to relate to the news and be able to understand as much of what they are talking about as possible.

However, I would also prefer to watch Al-Jazeera English rather than Fox news because I would find it more interesting. Yet, even though I might watch Al-Jazeera English or even fox news once in a while, I would ultimately continue to turn to CNNI because in most cases I feel they break down information that I am interested in, but also break the information down in a way that is pertinent to my life.

I want to be able to relate to the news I watch, I want to understand an event that is going on around the world, not only what the events means to the world, but what it means to me and how I can help. With all the statements I made, I must also recognize my own biases towards the news media .


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2 Responses to Viewers turn to broadcast that affirm their opinions is not that shocking!

  1. annziker says:

    You’re right, the idea that people of different backgrounds watch the news which most appeals to their vision of the world is not shocking.
    What is shocking, however, is:

    a) the completely separate realities that these different readerships have constructed for themselves based on the disparate views coming out of the different systems


    b) the potential for further “radicalization” or drifting apart of the two groups, which is inevitable when groups of like-minded people speak mostly to each other (there are psychology theories on small group radicalization which deal with this… but all I’m finding through google right now is info on jihadists… )

  2. LBradley says:

    I think that’s a pretty realistic observation. I definitely believe that as viewers we are just as guilty in perpetuating media bias, and I didn’t really understand the entirety of the Powes article, because I think we Balkanize ourselves. I’m guilty party #1. If I watched Bill O’Riley just to see how my grandpa feels, we would be on the same blood pressure meds, but for very different reasons. And I don’t really know if there is a solution to it, I don’t think our drive to be well rounded, equally informed individuals is strong enough to make us turn away from the news we prefer. So I don’t think the media giants are going to feel the pressure to become all equal Annie’s any time soon. Hopefully “Balkanize” will stay just a metaphor.

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