‘Crossing Divides’ shows media consumption habits, concerns

The project highlighted perceptions about trustworthy news source characteristics and concerns about media, and how those perceptions and concerns influence Nebraskans' news habits.

Earlier this fall, Civic Nebraska gathered small groups of Nebraskans to talk about their media habits and perceptions. We’re pleased to share the initial results of this listening project.
Crossing Divides brought to light perceptions held by participants about trustworthy news source characteristics and concerns about media, and how those perceptions and concerns influenced their news habits. Our takeaways included:
›› Across the political spectrum, many participants looked for news sources they perceived as unbiased, while others trusted news sources that espouse similar values or ideological views to their own.
›› The most recurring concern about the news or media, across political ideology, was the media’s perceived role in the division between people with different worldviews, though, notably, the perceived reason for division differed.
The listening project aims to build understanding around issues in news, media, and civil discourse. Civic Nebraska team members conducted 30 in-depth interviews with Nebraskans from Scotts Bluff County and the city of Lincoln about what information sources they use, why they have confidence in them, and how their news media habits relate to their concerns about their community – and media overall.
Our partners at the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center reviewed transcripts of interview recordings, identified common themes, and compiled them into the project findings.
Our civic health team will use the report as a starting point in conversations with community groups around the state. Those discussions will include how participants relate to the perspectives shared by the Crossing Divides interviewees and exploring individual or community-led solutions to improve Nebraskans’ relationships with news and media.
Read the summary report here. And, here’s a short one-page breakdown. Thank you to everyone who participated in this project!

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