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WaPo Looks at S.C Voters’ Media Diets

Americans obviously consume news differently now than they did the last presidential election and even more so than the election before that when newspapers ruled the day. But WaPo took a hard look at three voters in South Carolina ahead of the state’s primary to see how someone on the right, left and relative middle might use media to inform their views.

There’s Diane Belsom, a self-described “conservative, tea party, Christian” mom who gets most of her news from Facebook newsfeeds. Her friends link exclusively to stories from Reason magazine, Breitbart.tv, Newsmax and TWT. With a media diet like that, Belsom says what you’d expect. Things like, “My honest opinion is that [President Obama] hates our country and is trying to destroy us. Hopefully, I’m not too tunnel-visioned.”

Then there’s James Akers, Jr., V.P. of Greenville’s Democratic Party. For some unknown reason WaPo identifies him as a “moderate Democrat” despite having socially liberal views. Regardless, he’s definitely the Dave Weigel of his mostly conservative friends, tweeting all day, often linking to pubs that reinforce his perspective; MSNBC, HuffPost, Mother Jones and CNN.

Finally, Goldilocks Flynn McKinney, a 23-year-old recent grad, who identifies herself as conservative, but says she’s “a fact-based” kind of gal who likes “to see two sides of any argument.” Among her friends, she’s the only one who actually pays for her local newspaper’s online edition. She also prefers the NYT and WaPo to conservative blogs and routinely watches NBC’s nightly newscast. Not too hot, not too cold; just right.

The full article is worth a look, though hyper-partisan audiences that largely read news they agree with may not be best for a well-informed electorate. The story can be read here. There’s also a video that offers a better look at Belsom, Akers and McKinney here.

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