Think the media is losing its power to influence the public? Apparently, many Americans would disagree. A poll released today by Opinion Research Corporation finds Americans blaming the U.S. media for making the economic situation worse.
77% of the 1,000 polled believe that the U.S. financial press is “damaging consumer confidence and damping investment” by focusing on and embellishing negative news.
This poll demonstrates a fundamental truth about the influence of media: Americans turn to the media first for bad news, and then for other news. Bad news sells, and everybody knows it. (If you want proof points, see the latest Pew Research Center study showing Disaster, Money and Conflicts stories got the most attention 1986-2006.)
That’s why companies get only a small spike of attention from a company press release, and such a onslaught of negative publicity when caught with their corporate pants down.