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 Political Polarization & Media Habits

The reading about political polarization and media habits, by the Pew Research Center, examines streams of media used by people with differing political views. The reading suggests that individuals with ideological views on the right and left utilize different sources than individuals with more mixed political views. Moreover, individuals tend to use media in virtual echo chambers. That is, people with ideological views on the right and left are likely to consume media that reinforces one’s political ideologies and worldviews. In this assignment, you will look at how the portrayal of a social problem differs in three media sources with varying ideological placement.

First, decide what social issue that you will investigate. Consider investigating the social problem you are addressing in for the program and policy project. Investigate how the social problem is portrayer in one media source on the left, one in the middle, and one on the right. For example, if your social problem is affordable healthcare, you could search for video clips about affordable healthcare from the The Guardian (towards the left), the Wall Street Journal (towards the middle), and InfoWars (towards the right). Refer to the graphic below for where sources are located according to the ideological placement for the source.

For your initial post, provide a link to the video clips or articles you find, and answer the following questions:

1. How is the social problem framed in each source? What facts and sources are cited by the commentator(s) or author(s)? Does the video or article contain insightful language that is politically or emotionally charged?

2. What are differences and similarities in how the social problem is framed or portrayed?

3. In what ways does the source reinforce or validate ideological viewpoints in a way that is consistent with the source’s placement (left, middle, right)?

4. Do the sources serve as virtual echo chambers for the consumer? That is, in what ways does the source reflect and reinforce the consumer’s viewpoints. worldviews, and beliefs?


The social problem I have been studying in this term has been addiction within Native American and Alaskan Native

people. This is a problem I wanted to dive deeper into for this discussion