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.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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