It sounds like an alarming equation: While local news outlets shutter and news deserts expand nationwide, so-called “pink slime” sites are filling the void with political propaganda disguised as legitimate news. For anyone who believes democracy is built on a foundation of truth, this is a disturbing trend.
But most of the attention on pink-slime journalism has focused on its production, such as the “1,300 community news sites” that Metric Media, Chicago businessman Brian Timpone’s company that pushes Republican candidates and far-right talking points, touts operating across the country. A new Stanford University study looks for the first time at the other side of this equation: consumer usage of these sites.
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