The Columbia Journalism Review published an article in March that was recently brought to our attention entitled “Study: Breitbart-led Right-wing Media Ecosystem Altered Broader Media Agenda“. The election study was funded by the Open Society Foundations U.S. Program.
The Open Society Foundation was founded by George Soros so the intent of the paper and the article is definitely from a far-left liberal viewpoint. For example, the study complains about the right-wing media network transmitting a hyper-partisan perspective to the world while neglecting to account for the liberal main stream media’s (MSM’s) constant barrage of anti-Trump and pro-Hillary hyperbole. The study states:
Our own study of over 1.25 million stories published online between April 1, 2015 and Election Day shows that a right-wing media network anchored around Breitbart developed as a distinct and insulated media system, using social media as a backbone to transmit a hyper-partisan perspective to the world. This pro-Trump media sphere appears to have not only successfully set the agenda for the conservative media sphere, but also strongly influenced the broader media agenda, in particular coverage of Hillary Clinton.
Rather than account for the obvious, that the MSM was biased and President Donald Trump was the far better candidate, the study tries to tie Hillary Clinton’s loss to biased messages on the right before the election that were shared at websites like this one and on social media.
In spite of its flaws, the study does share some revealing facts about last year’s election and how the Gateway Pundit (GWP) helped the President win the election. The study continues:
While concerns about political and media polarization online are longstanding, our study suggests that polarization was asymmetric. Pro-Clinton audiences were highly attentive to traditional media outlets, which continued to be the most prominent outlets across the public sphere, alongside more left-oriented online sites. But pro-Trump audiences paid the majority of their attention to polarized outlets that have developed recently, many of them only since the 2008 election season.
Attacks on the integrity and professionalism of opposing media were also a central theme of right-wing media. Rather than “fake news” in the sense of wholly fabricated falsities, many of the most-shared stories can more accurately be understood as disinformation: the purposeful construction of true or partly true bits of information into a message that is, at its core, misleading. Over the course of the election, this turned the right-wing media system into an internally coherent, relatively insulated knowledge community, reinforcing the shared worldview of readers and shielding them from journalism that challenged it.
The study continues:
We began to study this ecosystem by looking at the landscape of what sites people share. If a person shares a link from Breitbart, is he or she more likely also to share a link from Fox News or from The New York Times? We analyzed hyperlinking patterns, social media sharing patterns on Facebook and Twitter, and topic and language patterns in the content of the 1.25 million stories, published by 25,000 sources over the course of the election, using Media Cloud, an open-source platform for studying media ecosystems developed by Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society and MIT’s Center for Civic Media.
When we map media sources this way, we see that Breitbart became the center of a distinct right-wing media ecosystem, surrounded by Fox News, the Daily Caller, the Gateway Pundit, the Washington Examiner, Infowars, Conservative Treehouse, and Truthfeed.
As a matter of fact, by October 2016, the right-wing media ecosystem or new media, as more commonly known – the conservative publishers on the Internet – had reached a point where they were competing with the liberal MSM. A chart of the media’s impact on Facebook is provided:
The chart shows how the MSM was being offset by the conservative new media. The Gateway Pundit had the fourth largest impact of all conservative new media outlets, following only Breitbart, EndingtheFed and Truthfeed. Similar charts are provided of tweets and their impact by the new media. The study shows that the MSM was offset by new media. No matter what false narratives the MSM tried to push down American’s throats, they did not work because the truth was being shared elsewhere on the Internet on sites like this one.
We believe our efforts at the GWP helped President Trump immensely. Many of our readers have shared their gratitude for a job well done. Americans want the truth and we provided it then and still today.
Below are our assertions about the 2016 election that the study does not surmise:
1. The MSM consists of old, outdated and liberally biased media outlets that materially never provide positive conservative non-socialist viewpoints.
2. The MSM behemoths do not understand that it’s not only that their message is dull, slow, ignorant and non-engaging (e.g. Hillary Loves Trump’s Hate) their efforts to prevent Americans from an honest conservative viewpoint have led to their demise (e.g. CNN Sucks!).
3. Americans are tired of being told lies on the one hand (e.g. Trump is racist) and maybe more importantly, not being told the truth on the other hand (e.g. the stock market is up 20% since the election).
4. Americans want accurate, informative, and up to date information NOW and the MSM behemoths cannot or will not provide this service.
5. As a result of the above, Americans are flocking in droves to new media sites like the GWP in order to obtain the truth that is not shared in the traditional MSM.
6. The new media like the GWP did not originate due to American’s desire for sensationalism, the new media originated as a consequence of the MSM failing to share the truth.
Thank you all for your support and in helping us help President Donald Trump win the 2016 US Presidential election.