The Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Federal Funding And Issues

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Federal Funding And Issues. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Glenn J. McLoughlin, Lena A. Gomez. April 4, 2017

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) receives its funding through federal appropriations; overall, about 15% of public television and 10% of radio broadcasting funding comes from the federal appropriations that CPB distributes. CPB’s appropriation is allocated through a distribution formula established in its authorizing legislation and has historically received two-year advanced appropriations. Congressional policymakers are increasingly interested in the federal role in supporting CPB due to concerns over the federal debt, the role of the federal government funding for public radio and television, and whether public broadcasting provides a balanced and nuanced approach to covering news of national interest.

It is also important to note that many congressional policymakers defend the federal role of funding public broadcasting. They contend that it provides news and information to large segments of the population that seek to understand complex policy issues in depth, and in particular for children’s television broadcasting, has a significant and positive impact on early learning and education for children.

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Most Say Tensions Between Trump Administration And News Media Hinder Access To Political News

Most Say Tensions Between Trump Administration And News Media Hinder Access To Political News. Pew Research Center. Michael Barthel, Jeffrey Gottfried and Amy Mitchell. April 4, 2017.

Following a presidential campaign season characterized by regular conflicts between Donald Trump and the news media and the continuation of these tensions since President Trump took office, nearly all Americans have taken notice, and large majorities feel these tensions are causing problems.

According to a new Pew Research Center survey, 94% of Americans say they have heard about the current state of the relationship between the Trump administration and the news media. And what they’ve seen does not reassure them: large majorities feel the relationship is unhealthy and that the ongoing tensions are impeding Americans’ access to important political news. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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How Americans Encounter, Recall and Act Upon Digital News

How Americans Encounter, Recall and Act Upon Digital News. Pew Research Center. Amy Mitchell et al. February 9, 2017

Anyone who wants to understand today’s news environment faces a challenge: How to discern the nuances of digital news habits when Americans’ attention spans are fractured, human memory is naturally limited and news comes at them every which way.

To tackle this complex question, Pew Research Center, in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, took on the unusual task of staying in touch with more than 2,000 U.S. adults who get at least some news online over the course of a week. The study ran from Feb. 24 to March 1, 2016. Respondents were asked twice a day whether they got news online within the past two hours and, if so, were asked about their experience with that news. This technique was used to improve the chances that respondents would be able to accurately recall their recent news interactions and allowed researchers to ask about sources and behaviors with a high level of detail. This amounted to up to 14 completed surveys per person for a total of 25,602 interviews – 13,086 of which included online news consumption. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 41 pages, 1.16 MB].

The FCC’s Rules and Policies Regarding Media Ownership, Attribution, and Ownership Diversity

The FCC’s Rules and Policies Regarding Media Ownership, Attribution, and Ownership Diversity. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Dana A. Scherer. December 16, 2016

From the earliest days of commercial radio, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and its predecessor, the Federal Radio Commission, have encouraged diversity in broadcasting. This concern has repeatedly been supported by the U.S. Supreme Court, which has affirmed that “the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the public,” and that “assuring that the public has access to a multiplicity of information sources is a governmental purpose of the highest order, for it promotes values central to the First Amendment.”
The FCC’s policies seek to encourage four distinct types of diversity: (1) diversity of viewpoints, as reflected in the availability of media content reflecting a variety of perspectives; (2) diversity of programming, as indicated by a variety of formats and content; (3) outlet diversity, to ensure the presence of multiple independently owned media outlets within a geographic market; and (4) minority and female ownership of broadcast media outlets.

[PDF format, 29 pages, 845.78 KB].

Covering Politics in a Post-Truth America

Covering Politics in a Post-Truth America. Brookings Institution. Susan B. Glasser. December 2, 2016

Coverage of American politics, and the capital that revolves around it, is in many ways much better now than ever before—faster, sharper, and far more sophisticated. There are great new digital news organizations for politics and policy obsessives, political science wonks, and national security geeks. We get more reporting and insight live from the campaign trail in a day than we used to get in a month, thanks to Google and Facebook, livestreaming and Big Data, and all the rest. Access to information—by, for, and about the government and those who aspire to run it—is dazzling and on a scale wholly unimaginable when Donald Trump was hawking his Art of the Deal in 1987. And we have millions of readers for our work now, not merely a hyper-elite few thousand.
The media scandal of 2016 isn’t so much about what reporters failed to tell the American public; it’s about what they did report on, and the fact that it didn’t seem to matter. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Social Media Update 2016

Social Media Update 2016. Pew Research Center. Shannon Greenwood, Andrew Perrin and Maeve Duggan. November 11, 2016.

Over the past decade, Pew Research Center has documented the wide variety of ways in which Americans use social media to seek out information and interact with others. A majority of Americans now say they get news via social media, and half of the public has turned to these sites to learn about the 2016 presidential election. Americans are using social media in the context of work (whether to take a mental break on the job or to seek out employment), while also engaging in an ongoing effort to navigate the complex privacy issues that these sites bring to the forefront. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 19 pages, 500.6 KB].