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Opinion | New study shows social media is dumbing-down news consumers – StCatharinesStandard.ca

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The digital dream darkens further.

A recent study by PEW Research Center, Journalism and Media (PEW) shows that news consumers who rely upon social media are less knowledgeable and less engaged than those who use other news sources.

“The analysis of surveys … finds that those who rely most on social media for political news stand apart from other news consumers in a number of ways. (They) tend to be less likely than other news consumers to closely follow major news stories … (and) this group also tends to be less knowledgeable about these topics,” according to PEW.

The study found that social media news consumers tend to pay less attention to news than those who rely on most other sources. As of early June 2020, just eight per cent of U.S. adults getting most of their political news from social media said they were following news about the election “very closely,” compared with cable TV (37 per cent) and print (33 per cent). This difference is alarming for democracy.

“This relative lack of attention to news goes hand in hand with lower levels of knowledge about major current events and politics … respondents were asked 29 different fact-based questions that touch on a variety of topics … Across these 29 questions, the average proportion who got each question right is lower among Americans who rely most on social media for political news than those who rely most on other types of news sources, except for local TV,” the study says.

Demographically, adults who rely most on social media for news are younger and have lower levels of education than those who mainly use several other platforms.

One study index measured political knowledge — high, middle, and low — against seven different source types; news website, radio, print media, cable TV, network TV, social media and local TV. Only 17 per cent of social media users scored high, compared to 45 per cent using news websites, 42 per cent radio and 41 per cent print media.

On six political stories, social media users demonstrated the lowest awareness of any group. Social media users were also far less engaged in the coronavirus pandemic coverage, and more likely to have heard about conspiracy theories and other false claims.

How large is the problem then?

Another PEW study conducted in 2018 measured social media news sourcing among 38 advanced and developing countries globally. It found that a global median of 35 per cent use social media to get news daily. About half say they never use social networking sites to get news.

Responding to the question “How often do you use social networking sites to get news?”, Canada ranked second highest among advanced nations with 42 per cent — behind South Korea at 57 per cent, and ahead of the U.S. at 39 per cent.

Facebook is the king of social media news, with 36 per cent of Americans regularly logging on to obtain their news.

The Shattered Mirror: News, Democracy and Trust in the Digital Age, is a landmark Public Policy Forum report published in January 2017. It looks at the state of a much weaker news media in Canada, severely disrupted by the digital age.

“The digital revolution has made for a more open and diverse news ecosystem — and a meaner and less trustworthy one. It has also upended the model of “boots on the ground” backed up by a second platoon in the office upholding such hallowed standards as verification and balance. Established news organizations have been left gasping, while native digital alternatives have failed to develop journalistic mass, especially in local news,” the report found.

Between 2010 and 2017, 225 weekly and 27 daily newspapers were lost to closure or merger.

“Anyone who views news as a public good will see that this decline damages civil discourse,” the report concluded.

According to “The State of Social Media in Canada 2020,” published by the Social Media Lab at Ryerson University — 94 per cent of online Canadians have a social media account, 83 per cent on Facebook.

There are only 75 remaining daily newspapers in Canada, with paid circulation just over 11 million copies weekly.

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The age of post-truth couldn’t exist without the fact-free and emotive ecosphere of social media, wherein confirmation bias and selective exposure reinforce individual world views while dismissing contradictory information.

On social media, there is no one to fact-check the story.

As the most trusted man in America once said, “Journalism is what we need to make democracy work.”

Ken Grafton is a writer based in Wakefield, Que. His background includes global executive level experience in engineering and telecommunications.

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Trump's social media suggests a campaign scrambling from Biden leaving 2024 race – ABC News

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Trump’s social media suggests a campaign scrambling from Biden leaving 2024 race  ABC News

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Ryan Reynolds Jokes About Taylor Swift’s Astronomical Babysitting Rates

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Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are a Hollywood power couple with four adorable children. But juggling busy careers and a growing family can be a challenge, even for A-listers. Enter their close friend, pop icon Taylor Swift, who, according to Reynolds, might be their go-to babysitter. However, her services come with a hefty price tag (at least according to Reynolds‘ playful exaggeration).

During a recent E! News interview promoting their upcoming movie “Deadpool & Wolverine,” Hugh Jackman playfully suggested that Swift was the real nanny for Reynolds and Lively’s four children. This lighthearted jab sparked a humorous response from Reynolds.

Known for his sharp wit, Reynolds responded to Jackman’s comment with a hilarious quip. He stated that the cost of having Taylor Swift babysit would be “cost-prohibitive,” implying that her rates would be astronomically high. He even playfully added, “But I think what he meant was, ‘Cost-insane-what-are-you-doing-I’m-no-longer-you’re-accountant.'”

Reynolds and Lively, who tied the knot in 2012, share four children: James (9), Inez (7), Betty (4), and a one-year-old whose name and gender remain private. The couple has maintained a close friendship with Swift over the years. This strong bond is evident in their recent attendance at a stop of her Eras Tour in Spain, along with their three eldest children.

Swift’s friendship with the Reynolds family extends beyond casual hangouts. During the concert in Spain, she gave a heartwarming shout-out to the couple’s daughters. While introducing her album “Folklore,” she mentioned the names James, Inez, and Betty, sending the audience into a frenzy. This sweet gesture further highlights the special bond between the singer and the Reynolds children.

This isn’t the first time Swift has incorporated the girls’ names into her music.  Her 2020 album “Folklore” features a song titled “Betty” that tells a story of a love triangle involving characters named James, Inez, and Betty. Additionally, her 2017 album “Reputation” included a voice recording of James on the song “Gorgeous.”

Whether Swift truly babysits for the Reynolds family or not remains a playful mystery. However, one thing is certain: the singer holds a special place in the hearts of the Reynolds children and their parents.

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The Simmering Feud Between Eva Mendes and Rachel McAdams

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The 2004 romantic drama “The Notebook” continues to be a pop culture phenomenon, captivating audiences with its passionate love story between Noah and Allie, played by Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. But beyond the on-screen romance, rumours of tension between the actors and Gosling’s current partner, Eva Mendes, have added a layer of intrigue to the film’s legacy.

 

From Clashing Personalities to Real-Life Romance

While their undeniable on-screen chemistry led to a blockbuster performance, Gosling and McAdams reportedly had a tumultuous time during filming. “We inspired the worst in each other,” Gosling admitted to The Guardian. However, their initial animosity blossomed into a real-life romance in 2005, sending shivers down the spines of fans who had rooted for Noah and Allie.

 

Love Found, Love Lost

Their off-screen love story, however, wasn’t a fairytale. After two years, the couple went their separate ways. McAdams found happiness and a family with screenwriter Jamie Linden, while Gosling met his current partner, Eva Mendes, on the set of “The Place Beyond the Pines” in 2011. Together, they have built a life and share two daughters.

 

A Post-Breakup Conundrum: Maintaining a Friendship

While McAdams and Gosling’s romantic flame fizzled out, reports suggest they remained amicable post-breakup.  This friendly dynamic, however, is said to have shifted when Mendes entered the picture.

 

A Shadow of Jealousy? Unconfirmed Rumors of Tension

Unverified reports claim that Mendes is allegedly uncomfortable with McAdams being around Gosling.  Unnamed sources allege that Mendes discourages any interaction between the former co-stars, fearing it might upset her. This has reportedly limited Gosling’s ability to maintain a casual friendship with McAdams.

The validity of these claims remains shrouded in mystery.  Mendes and Gosling are known for their privacy, making it difficult to separate truth from speculation.

 

 

Beyond the Rumors: The Power of “The Notebook” Endures

While the rumors of off-screen tension add another chapter to the “The Notebook” narrative, the film’s enduring power lies in its timeless portrayal of love and loss. Whether Gosling and McAdams remained friends or not doesn’t diminish the on-screen magic they created. The film’s ability to resonate with audiences continues, reminding us of the intensity of first love, the pain of heartbreak, and the enduring power of memories.

The Notebook’s legacy is a complex one, weaving together a captivating on-screen love story, rumored off-screen tension, and a reminder of the film’s lasting impact on pop culture.

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