The media insight project published a study this week that found a high demand for news in America and a high level of misunderstanding between the public and the press.
None of this comes as a surprise.
What’s different about the report is that it spells out how we can repair the relationship between news consumers and journalists.
The study says: we have a public that doesn’t fully understand how journalists work, and journalism that doesn’t make itself understandable to much of the public.
Here are some of the findings:
First: the public and journalists want the same things verified facts, accuracy, neutrality, and fairness.
Second: news consumers don’t think the media meets those expectations often enough.
Third: some of the judgment may be caused when journalists use media industry jargon or outdated terminology.
50 percent of Americans say they’re not familiar with the term op-ed, which is an old term describing content on the opinion page.
43 percent don t know what attribution means and 57 percent aren’t familiar with the phrase native advertising.
What can we do?
News consumers, consider what you don t know or understand. Are there terms or phrases you don’t know or that might have more than one meaning? Look them up.
Journalists, we don’t use jargon when writing about other industries, so stop using it when writing about our own or at least explain it when you do.
The study provides many more ideas, but one thing is clear: we all have some work to do.
I’m Erin Gibson, and that’s what I have to say.