About a fifth of Americans get their political and election news only from media outlets that align with their views, according to analysis recently released by the Pew Research Center.
Pew’s findings were compiled as part of the nonpartisan think tank’s Election News Pathways project, an ongoing initiative that examines how Americans are getting their news in the months leading up to the 2020 election.
|Percentage of each political party who gets political and election news only from sources with right- or left-leaning audiences.|
According to the survey, 20 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents get their political news in any given week only from outlets with left-leaning audiences. Similarly, 18 percent of Republicans and independents who lean Republican get their political news only from outlets whose audiences lean right.
The survey found that most Republicans (69 percent) who get their political news from outlets only with right-leaning audiences tend to be older (age 50 and up), while most Democrats (74 percent) who get their news from outlets only with left-leaning audiences tend to be younger (between the ages of 18 and 49).
Republicans residing in news bubbles also tend to be men, while Democrats residing in news bubbles tend to be women. Less than a quarter (22 percent) of these Republicans have college degrees, while more than half (51 percent) of these Democrats have a college degree.
Pew’s analysis also discovered that Americans with a politically-isolated news diet even diverge from other members of their own party to a degree. Among the Republicans polled for the survey, 61 percent polled identify as “conservative” or “very conservative,” but among those who admit to consuming media only with like-minded views, that number jumps to 86 percent.
Among the Democrats polled, 45 percent identify as “liberal” or “very liberal,” but that number jumps to 62 percent among those who get their news only from left-leaning outlets.
“Very conservative” respondents who reside in these news bubbles typically rely on Fox News more than Republicans in general, while “very liberal” Democrats who reside in news bubbles enjoy CNN and NPR more than Democrats overall. 83 percent of these Republicans also reported having “very warm” feelings toward President Trump, while 90 percent of the Democrats in left-leaning news bubble reported having “very cold” feelings about him.
The study also found that Americans' prevailing sense of news fatigue isn’t going away. Two-thirds of Americans (66 percent) admit feeling worn out by the news, a sentiment that has persisted for the past two years, according to previous Pew findings.
The news fatigue syndrome is affecting Americans on both sides of the political aisle, but appears more common among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, according to Pew’s findings: 75 percent of Republicans said they’re worn out by the amount of news they get, compared with 59 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents.
Less than a third of Americans (32 percent) said they enjoy the current amount of news they’re getting.
Pew’s analysis was based on a survey of more than 12,000 respondents drawn from Pew’s American Trends Panel, a nationally representative list of randomly selected U.S. adults. Surveys were conducted between Oct. and Nov.