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The political slant of web portal news and the implications relating to the fake news phenomenon

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Frame of Image s and opinions of KDI.
Korea’s Leading Think Tank
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The Political Slant of Web Portal News and the Implications Relating to the Fake News Phenomenon
Dongook Choi, Fellow at KDI
“ The argument that the news selection of Korean web portals is politically biased lacks not only objective evidence but also discourse on what the causes are. If web portals provide a sufficient amount of variety in their news contents, it may be unnecessary to regulate the average bias. However, a cautious approach is needed when expanding algorithm-based news feed services as the selective consumption of personalized news will polarize public opinion, which in turn, will serve to further disseminate fake news.”
As news aggregators, web portals are gaining increasing ground in Korean media. As shown in <Figure 1>, the market size of internet advertisements, dominated by two major web portals, surpassed that of television commercials as of 2012. Today, far more people read news articles via web portals, which stands in stark contrast to the marked decline of traditional media. Subsequently, as the majority of daily news consumption now begins with web portals, their news and media selection has a massive impact on the internet news market. The contents are not directly produced but are selected and posted by editing teams. Interestingly, these reflect the political leanings of the respective portal. That is, web portals are exhibiting similar traits to news media outlets. It should be note


Full Text
Title The political slant of web portal news and the implications relating to the fake news phenomenon
Similar Titles
Material Type Articles
Author(English)

Choi, Dongook

Publisher

Sejong : Korea Development Institute

Date 2017-09
Series Title; No KDI FOCUS / No. 85, eng.
Pages 9
Subject Country South Korea(Asia and Pacific)
Language English
File Type Documents
Original Format pdf
Subject Government and Law < Political Development
Holding 한국개발연구원; KDI국제정책대학원
License

Abstract

The argument that the news selection of Korean web portals is politically biased lacks not only objective evidence but also discourse on what the causes are. If web portals provide a sufficient amount of variety in their news contents, it may be unnecessary to regulate the average bias. However, a cautious approach is needed when expanding algorithm-based news feed services as the selective consumption of personalized news will polarize public opinion, which in turn, will serve to further disseminate fake news.

- Web portals have editing teams that select and assign news contents.

- In the past, bias was commonly measured in a subjective or arbitrary manner.

- The partisanship was measured strictly based on statistics and not the researcher’s arbitrary judgement.

- The political leanings of web portals measured on a specific time line is the result of public opinion of a certain event.

- Web portals have an incentive to maximize their advertising profit by increasing the number of users’ clicks.

- Consumers tend to reduce additional news consumption in the news section when they agree less with the views of the posted article.

- The political bias of portal news is related to the portal’s profit structure.

- Personalized news feed could take away the chance for consumers to experience the diversity of news contents.

- The erosion of public trust in mainstream media and the increased use of SNS amplified the spread of fake news.

- In Korea, web portal can serve as a checking mechanism that suppress the echo-chamber effect incurred by SNS.

- Diversity indicators can be developed using the level of bias in portal news.

- News with diverse perspectives should be made available via web portals.

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