There's nobody more cynical about the media than your average European. (Except for No Agenda listeners and No Agenda News readers!)
Only 12 percent of Europeans claim to trust the media, compared to 15 percent of North Americans, 29 percent of Pacific Asians and 48 percent of Africans, the BBC has found.
Yet new research out of the London School of Economics and Political Science suggests that even the most hardened Europeans may succumb to media manipulation and change their political views if they are bombarded long enough with biased news.
Michael Bruter, a senior lecturer in European politics at the school, fed a steady diet of slanted newsletters about Europe and the European Union — either all good news or all bad — to 1,200 citizens of six countries over two years.
Over time, Bruter found, and without exception, the readers subconsciously adopted the bias to varying degrees and changed their view of the EU and of themselves as Europeans, a few of them in the extreme. Surprisingly, they didn't register any change right after the newsletters stopped — not until full six months later, when they had obviously let down their guard.
Bruter calls this the "time bomb" effect of one-sided news. His study paints a blunt picture of how cynicism, far from inoculating citizens to resist political persuasion, merely delays the impact.
Read the rest at: AlterNet.org
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