- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 8, 2020

Thanks to the Internet, 24/7 broadcasting and social media, the restless, ever-changing news is a non-stop presence in our lives, often amped up with opinion and shrill delivery. The result is a jittery public, confirmed by a sizable new poll of 20,045 U.S. adults.

“Americans feel that the news media is not working for them due to the sheer volume of news, news mixed with opinion and their increased perceptions of bias in news,” says the wide-ranging survey from Gallup and the Knight Foundation, which notes that news consumers often feel “overwhelmed and unable to sort out the facts.”

Eight-out-of-10 — 78% — say encountering misinformation is the greatest challenge of navigating the news.

Some consumers respond by digging deeper into the issues, sometimes they disengage from the news entirely while others cultivate skills which help them parse the news.

Some numbers: 62% say it’s harder to be well-informed because they must sort through information to determine what’s true and important.

The most frequent cause of this, cited by three fourths of the respondents, is the jumbled mix of news and non-news.

The next cause is the relentless speed of the news cycle and the increase of news organizations now able to deliver news anytime, any place and in multiple formats. Both were cited by 63%.

“In response to feeling overwhelmed by the abundance of news sources in the current media environment, a plurality of Americans (41%) say they only pay attention to one or two trusted sources, while 1-in-3 (31%) try to consult a variety of sources to see where they agree. About 1 in 6 Americans (17%) opt for the most extreme response, saying they stop paying attention to news altogether, while 8% rely on others to help them sort out what they need to know,” the poll analysis said.

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