Ohio State University announced in a press release that a new research study (published in the Journal of Communication) found that “Passive news reporting that doesn’t attempt to resolve factual disputes in politics may have detrimental effects on readers.” Instead, readers want news outlets to indicate which side is the accurate, as opposed to just reporting both sides of the dispute.
The study’s author, Raymond Pingree, commented on the results:
“There are consequences to journalism that just reports what each side says with no fact checking. It makes readers feel like they can’t figure out what the truth is. And I would speculate that this attitude may lead people to tune out politics entirely, or to be more accepting of dishonesty by politicians.”
““It is interesting that there are now institutions within journalism dedicated to resolving disputes. A few decades ago, that was seen as the role of all journalists. Journalists didn’t see themselves as stenographers, but as judges, keeping the lawyers honest in the court of public opinion. We don’t see that as much anymore.”
Read more about the study here.