Polarizing Financial News

AARON ARONSHTEIN

Modern technology has allowed for information to reach our screens faster than ever before. Also, new innovations in lithium-ion batteries and micro-chip processors have made our screens smaller, more portable, and cheaper, allowing these devices to become more accessible to the entire global population. With a high-powered, internet connected media device in a majority of the population’s pockets, profit-seeking newspaper companies could not ignore this new opportunity in order to make a buck. To capitalize on these new mobile platforms, these companies have created applications that send push notifications every time a new story breaks. These media companies do not make money based on the accuracy or objectivity of their articles, or the clairvoyance of their speculations – they profit solely from their viewership. Equipped with this knowledge, many media companies analyze their current viewership and tailor their news stories and opinions to be similar to that of their viewers. This practice has led many Americans, if not many people all over the world, to only receive their news from one or a few sources – sources that agree most with them.

According to The Modern News Consumer, “About half (51%) of Americans say that they are loyal to their news sources, while 48% say they are not particularly loyal. At the same time though, 76% of Americans say they usually turn to the same sources for news. Taken together, nearly half (46%) of Americans both describe themselves as loyal and also go to the same sources repeatedly (the ‘very loyal’). ” This trend negatively affects all people following it, whether it makes them more politically polarized, and thus less willing to compromise, or it makes them misinformed – which can seriously hurt consumers. Financial news consumers get the worst end of the effects of being misinformed because they base business and investment decisions off of their news. A possible solution to this encompassing and corrosive issue is to consume your news from many conflicting news sources and to take into account the author’s opinion.