Saturday, February 02, 2013

What's Causing Political Polarization?

If you wonder why the country has become so polarized in recent years, you aren't alone. Researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas have looked into the issue, and they have an answer: cable television. Yes folks, according to their statistical study, the increased political polarization of the House of Representatives over the past few decades is due to media fragmentation.

"Our findings strongly suggest that greater media fragmentation has contributed to increased political polarization," the authors conclude. "This may occur as individuals seek out self-reinforcing viewpoints rather than be exposed to a common 'nightly news' broadcast, or alternatively, may occur as individuals opt out of news entirely in favor of entertainment."

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Has Income Inequality or Media Fragmentation Increased Political Polarization?

1 comment:

Dan said...

Indeed, much of America's political polarization is the result of the repeal of the FCC's Fairness Doctrine under Reagan, which had required news sources to air content representing both sides in controversies (Source). This is what gave rise to Maddow and Limbaugh.