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Maybe We Aren’t All Extremists After All

September 10, 2012 by  

Maybe We Aren’t All Extremists After All
PHOTOS.COM
Groups with more leftist or rightist extreme opinions on political issues get more attention from the media.

A new study indicates that one of the reasons many Americans consider extreme leftism or extreme right wing views the only options for political ideology is sensationalized news media.

It is noted often by American political commentators and scholars that politics in the United States have become more polarized than ever before, but a new study in Journalism & Mass Communications indicates that this may not be true.

The study concedes that, because of shock value, groups espousing far-left or far-right ideas receive much more airtime in American news media than political moderates or those with values that breach the political divide.

“Extremes are more intuitively novel, entertaining, and colorful, representing another common news value,” write the authors of the study, Michael McCluskey and Young Mie Kim. “Moderate voices may be more difficult to portray as exciting than extreme voices.”

The authors examined 208 political advocacy groups representing a range of political ideologies as they were described in 118 newspapers. They found that groups with more leftist or rightist extreme opinions on political issues got more mentions in larger newspapers, appeared closer to the top of articles and were mentioned more often.

The authors contend, “More people had the opportunity to note those groups, fueling perceptions of those groups as important or legitimate.”

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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