US consumption of news – De Palma strikes at the heart

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As an American living overseas, you sometimes get bombarded with the (often well merited) criticism of American provincialism. And, the general line of argument centres around what type of news Americans follow. A recent study by McKinsey encouraged possibly a different conclusion. The report suggests that when the Americans read news, they are brand promiscuous. On average, an American will use 12 different sources in a week for his/her news, going across 5 different platforms (tv [6], internet [3], magazines, newspapers and radio). And, considering the cross-frontier nature of internet news which accounts for 1/4 of the sources, one has to imagine that Americans are thus being fed more than a local-only news, with a wider range of opinions (unless the internet source is just the online version of the tv or newspaper). Of course, this same spectre is happening in other countries where, similarly, the typical tv newscast is somewhat biased or localized. Brand promiscuity with regard to the news provides hope for the democratization — or rather the liberalization — of news for many countries.

As testament to internet-generated news, the soon-to-be-released Brian de Palma film, “Redacted,” was nourished by the internet to get to the bottom of the [horror] story of the US war in Iraq, and features the story of an Iraqi girl raped and killed by US military soldiers. This article describes de Palma’s own dissatisfaction with the general news and how he used internet sources, including blogs, to find out about the truth. De Palma is quoted as saying, “It’s all out there on the Internet, you can find it if you look for it, but it’s not in the major media. The media is now really part of the corporate establishment.” Launched at the Venice Film Festival, Redacted has clearly caused a stir.

Came across Journalism 2.0 (good read and justly points out that the title of the study is misleading) and Dick Stroud on the same survey. Stroud concludes “don’t waste your precious marketing dollars on news related promotions to the young (ish).” Just going to have to qualify the news to the younger generation is my opinion.

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