Politics and the media: The new segregation

A new Pew research study this week finds most of you are self-segregating based on your ideology. You’re much more likely to interact with people who agree with you and you get your news from entirely different sources, the report says.

Perhaps that’s not a big surprise, but maybe this is: It’s the people on the left who most segregate.

It’s not that people don’t hear opposing views, it’s just those who are most “ideologically consistent” are the ones calling the shots…

Yet as our major report on political polarization found, those at both the left and right ends of the spectrum, who together comprise about 20% of the public overall, have a greater impact on the political process than do those with more mixed ideological views.

They are the most likely to vote, donate to campaigns and participate directly in politics. The five ideological groups in this analysis (consistent liberals, mostly liberals, mixed, mostly conservatives and consistent conservatives) are based on responses to 10 questions about a range of political values.

That those who express consistently conservative or consistently liberal opinions have different ways of informing themselves about politics and government is not surprising. But the depth of these divisions – and the differences between those who have strong ideological views and those who do not – are striking.

Consistent conservatives “are tightly clustered around a single news source, far more than any other group in the survey, with 47 percent citing Fox News as their main source for news about government and politics.”

Consistent liberals “are less unified in their media loyalty; they rely on a greater range of news outlets, including some – like NPR and the New York Times– that others use far less.”

The survey also found that “consistent liberals” are more likely to drop a friend or stop talking to someone because of that person’s political views.

Here’s a little more about the NPR breakdown of audience.