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The Sociopolitical Significance of Media Diversity

The Sociopolitical Significance of Media Diversity

The Hans-Bredow-Institut participated in the first Vielfaltsbericht [Diversity Report] of die medienanstalten with an article by Prof. Dr. Uwe Hasebrink and Dr. Sascha Hölig. In this article, the authors observe the role of social media within the news usage of Germans and put the results into an international comparison.

The diversity report approaches the topic 'opinion and media diversity in a media landscape characterised by digitisation' with numerous articles on current research results. The full report is available for download free of charge.

Findings of the Diversity Report

Television remains the number one medium for German when it comes to opinion formation. Germans usually consume local news over the radio or read it in daily newspapers. The Internet is becoming more important in news usage - hardly surprising - especially among the younger generation. The report contains, among other things, the current findings of the Mediengewichtungsstudie [Study on the Evaluation of the Media] and the MedienVielfaltsMonitors [Monitor of Media Diversity] of the medienanstalten. Both studies caputre the balance of power on the opinion market across genres and, thus, ensure transparency. The evaluation study also captures the use and significance of information intermediaries such as Google, YouTube and Facebook for opinion-forming purposes. For the first time, the importance of media genres for information on local and regional topics are also represented.

Aim of the Report

The diversity report would like to push the debate on the amendment of the media regulation forward. Due to the rapid digitisation, the power of opinion of content providers on the Internet is constantly increasing. The opinion formation of society is in a process of change. If the Internet has become one of the most important opinion-forming media, how must modern media regulation react to it in order to protect the highly valued diversity of opinion? In times of fake news and filter bubbles, mistrust of information intermediaries such as Facebook, Google and Co. has sharply increased. Algorithms ensure that users only see and hear selected content. The criteria for aggregation, selection and the presentation of content remain intransparent.

Photo: Jessica Ruscello / Unsplash

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