Is Journalistic Truth Dead? Measuring How Informed Voters Are about Political News
43 Pages Posted: 20 May 2020 Last revised: 9 Apr 2023
Date Written: April 8th, 2023
To investigate general patterns in news information in the U.S., we combine a protocol for identifying major political news stories, 11 monthly surveys with 15,000 participants, and a model of news discernment. When confronted with a true and a fake news story, 47% of subjects confidently choose the true story, 3% confidently choose the fake story, and the remaining half are uncertain. Socioeconomic differences are associated with large variations in the probability of selecting the true news story. Partisan congruence between an individual and a news story matters too, but its impact is up to an order of magnitude smaller.
Keywords: media, inequalities, polarization, information
JEL Classification: L82, D72, D83, D90
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