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Study: The more TV news you watch, the more biased you become against black people

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In a recent study, researchers found that long-term exposure to news in which racial representation is unbalanced may affect audience’s racial biases, according to a University of Houston news release.

In an article published in International Journal of Communication, researchers Temple Northup of University of Houston and Florian Arendt of University of Munich in Germany conducted empirical studies of local television news viewers in the U.S. and tabloids readers in Austria. They found that exposure to news coverage could influence audience’s racial biases.

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According to Northup, previous studies have shown that crime is overrepresented on local television news in the U.S. and African Americans are overrepresented as criminals. Similarly, studies have shown that foreigners are overrepresented as criminals in tabloid-style daily newspapers in Austria.

Three hundred and sixteen U.S. television news viewers and 489 Austrian tabloid-style daily newspaper readers participated in these studies. To measure the participants’ racial biases, the researchers used the Implicit Association Test (IAT), a tool used in psychology to measure unconscious biases people have but are unwilling or unable to report.

They found that the audience’s racial biases reflected the amount of news coverage they watched or read.

“Viewers who watched more local television news demonstrated more unconscious negative attitudes toward African-Americans,” Northup explained.

In Austria, although exposure to tabloid-style daily newspapers didn’t increase implicit negative attitudes in the readers, Northup attributed this to the fact that unlike television news viewers, readers have more control over what news they read.

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A third study confirmed this hypothesis, where the researchers found that the Austrian readers participating in the study who read more crime articles developed increased negative biases towards “foreigners,” according to Northup.

Northup hopes their research will help society better understand the effects of news coverage on the audience’s racial biases, and in turn, discriminatory behaviors.

“Studying this phenomenon and its underlying mechanism is necessary,” he said. “Only then will researchers be able to test different strategies to deal with these negative media effects, thereby enabling society to adequately resist the possible detrimental consequences of news media consumption.”

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COVID-19

What we know so far about COVID-19 and children

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President Donald Trump has been censored on Facebook and Twitter after saying children are "almost immune" from COVID-19. What do the facts say?

We know for sure children are less likely to fall seriously ill from the coronavirus, and emerging evidence suggests they're less likely to be infected too.

What's less clear is how much they spread the virus once infected.

- Children rarely become seriously ill -

Under-18s have accounted for just two percent of hospitalized COVID-19 cases and less than 0.1 percent of all deaths in the United States, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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2020 Election

Trump’s latest attack on Joe Biden is stunningly delusional — even for him

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Few ever accuse President Donald Trump of subtlety. But in a new speech in Cleveland on Thursday, he let loose with a particularly wild rant against his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, that was over-the-top, even for him.

It’s worth just quoting in full:

He’s following the radical left agenda. Take away your guns. Destroy your Second Amendment. No religion! No anything! Hurt the Bible! Hurt God! He’s against God! He’s against guns! He’s against energy, our kind of energy. Uh, I don’t think he’s going to do too well in Ohio.

Many people pointed out that there’s much more evidence that Biden is a committed Christian than there is for Trump. But almost that seems to miss several key points about how wild this is:

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Angst-ridden Republicans should have acted when Trump put his reelection above national security concerns: conservative columnist

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Writing in the Washington Post this Thursday, columnist Jennifer Rubin says that Senate Republicans are in serious trouble, especially in light of the stimulus bill they rolled out this week.

According to Rubin, the Senate GOP is in dire straits because "they have allowed the anti-government, anti-science Trump sycophants to disclaim any interest in the bill, thereby handing the reins to Democrats."

Rubin writes that some Republicans saying they want to see essential workers being taken care of in the bill are speaking up too late. "If only they they had some power in February to remove the unfit and corrupt president from office, instead of leaving him there to purge witnesses from his administration, seek vengeance on foes, force out inspectors general and botch the response to the coronavirus," Rubin writes.

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