April 24, 2012
Are people really more interested in mindless entertainment and sports — and less in hard core politics — than ever before? A couple of recent studies suggest this is true, but the reason is that we’re simply being polite.
People are getting a lot more news via the Internet on their computers, but they’re mostly doing it during the day when they’re at work. So the topics they gravitate toward tend to be those that are safe for discussion with co-workers — entertainment and sports. Discussion involving politics can lead to confrontations, so even bringing up the subject in the first place can be seen as inappropriate in a work setting.
Of course, this could lead to a vicious cycle where people get used to avoiding politics and wind up not ever discussing the subject. But as we all know, politics — as unpalatable as it may get at times — is something we have know at least a little about if we are to participate as citizens, and not just consumers.
Read more about how modern news consumption is changing at the BBC College of Journalism: